Kim Ki-duk

South Korea 2016. 114 Min.
Color. DCP. Kor/e

When Nam Chul-woo leaves the house early one morning, he does not yet know that by the evening things will not be the way they once were. The North Korean fisherman has been casting his net into the sea close to the South Korean border for years, but on this day, the current is against him. When one of his meshes gets stuck in the motor, he drifts unstoppably towards enemy waters, and is promptly arrested by South Korean border patrols as a supposed spy, and becomes the subject of an unsurprisingly harsh investigation. The longer Nam has to face the questions and tortures of the hostile authorities, the more he realises that even if he would manage to return home, he would do so as a torn man returning from the borderland between appearance and reality.


With Geumul, Kim Ki-duk – whom critics like to hail as the enfant terrible of Korean cinema – has managed to create a gentle but angry espionage thriller, which is as simple as it is precarious. Contrary to his previous work, which oscillated between excessive brutality and stylised aesthetics, the 56-year-old provocateur here demonstrates a surprisingly grounded approach, if only to make more space for the inner pain contained in his images. (pj)


DirectorKim Ki-duk
ScreenplayKim Ki-duk
CinematographyKim Ki-duk
EditingPark Min-sun
MusicPark Young-min
WithRyoo Seung-bum, Lee Won-gun, Kim Young-min, Choi Guy-hwa
ProducerKim Soon-mo