‘Pieta’ becomes first Korean movie to win Golden Lion award
Director Kim ki-duk shows the Golden Lion he won for his movie “Pieta” at the 69th Venice Film Festival in Italy, Saturday. Kim’s bleak-morality tale became the first Korean film to win the top prize at one of the three major international film festivals. He surprised the audience at the awards ceremony by singing the traditional Korean folk song “Arirang” on stage to thank the jury. AP-Yonhap
By Kim Ji-soo
Maverick Korean director Kim Ki-duk’s “Pieta,” a brutal mother-and-son drama, won the Golden Lion for best movie at the 69th Venice Film Festival, Saturday.
Kim’s bleak-morality tale became the first Korean film to win the top prize at one of the three major international film festivals — Venice, Cannes and Berlin.
“To be honest, I had some expectation because the response from the critics and the viewers were to the point that even I could feel it,” said the director in an email interview.
Kim surprised the audience at the awards ceremony by singing the traditional Korean folk song “Arirang” on stage to thank the jury who handed the 51-year-old the Golden Lion.
“I would like to give infinite thanks to the actors and the crew who’ve participated in this film. And I would like to dedicate this glory to all of you who chose ‘Pieta’ here,” Kim said.
Actress Cho Min-soo, who was on stage with the director, shed tears of joy at the achievement.
Kim’s film tells the story of a diabolical enforcer for a loan shark who prowls the alleys and clapped-out workshops of a Seoul district being redeveloped.
“The film starts out with violence and cruelty but cleans the mind with forgiveness and salvation toward the end, and I think this is what moved people’s hearts,” he added.
A mysterious woman claiming to be his mother walks into the life of the twisted hero who then struggles for redemption in an emotional crescendo.
Kim said that his film was intended to be a denunciation of “extreme capitalism.” The enforcer in the film is played with skin-crawling intensity by Lee Jung-jin and the woman is a haunting presence played by Cho.
The film’s title was inspired by Michelangelo’s famous Pieta statue in the Vatican of the Virgin Mary holding the corpse of her son Jesus Christ.
“I’ve been to the Vatican twice to admire this masterpiece by Michelangelo. The image of this embrace has stayed with me for many years. For me, it is an embrace of humanity,” the director said in an earlier interview.
Kim is no stranger to the Venice film festival. “Pieta” is his fourth film to have been invited to Venice. His previous works shown on the Lido were “The Isle” (2000), “Address Unknown” (2001) and “Bin-jip” (“3-Iron”) in 2004. The movie “Bin-jip,” a film about the relationship between a young drifter and an abused housewife won the Silver Lion, the best director award eight years ago.
Hollywood producer and director Michael Mann, who presided over this year’s jury, paid tribute to all 18 films in competition. But “Pieta” in particular “seduced you viscerally,” he said.
South Korean film made its global debut when director Kang Dae-jin’s “Mabu” won the Silver Bear award at the 1961 Berlin International Film Festival. In the past 50 years the local film industry has been receiving notice for its distinct creations and world class performers, with many awards being won from the late 1980s onwards.
Meanwhile, the Silver Lion for best director went to Paul Thomas Anderson for “The Master.” The film also earned a joint best actor award for Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman.
The best actress award went to Israeli actress Hadas Yaron for her role in Rama Burshtein’s “Fill the Void.”
Two other Korean films received praise and out-of-competition awards. Jeon Kyu-hwan’s film “The Weight” won the Queer Lion award while Yoo Min-young’s “Invitation” secured the Orizzonti award for Best Youtube Short Film.
“Pieta,” which has an 18-and-over rating, is currently playing in theaters nationwide.
8일(현지시간) 제69회 베니스국제영화제에서 '피에타'로 황금사자상(최우수작품상)을 받은 김기덕 감독은 영화에 대한 현지의 반응이 워낙 좋았다며 "수상을 솔직히 기대했다"고 말했다.
휴대전화를 사용하지 않는 그는 9일(현지시간 9일 새벽) 영화 홍보사를 통한 한국 언론과의 서면 인터뷰에서 "처음으로 영화가 공식 상영된 이래 내가 몸소 느낄 수 있을 정도로 영화 '피에타'에 대한 관객과 평단의 뜨거운 관심과 애정이 상당했다"며 수상을 어느 정도 예감했음을 드러냈다.
그는 '피에타'가 황금사자상을 받을 수 있었던 요인으로 "심사위원들의 평대로 영화의 시작은 폭력성과 잔인함으로 시작하지만 영화 마지막에 다다르면서 인간 내면의 용서와 구원으로 마음을 정화시키는 데 사람들의 마음을 움직였던 것 같다"고 분석했다.
또 상을 받은 뒤 우리 민요 '아리랑'을 부른 이유로는 "영화 '아리랑'은 내가 지난 4년간의 질문에 대한 대답이자 씻김굿 같은 것이라고 생각한다. 세계인들에게 영화 '피에타'의 메시지와 더불어 가장 한국적인 것을 수상 소감 대신 전하고 싶었다"고 답했다.
한국영화가 베니스국제영화제, 프랑스의 칸국제영화제, 독일의 베를린국제영화제 등 세계 3대 영화제에서 최고상을 수상한 것은 이번이 처음이다.
특히 베니스 영화제는 세계에서 가장 오랜 역사를 자랑하는 영화제다.
한국영화로는 2005년 박찬욱 감독의 '친절한 금자씨'가 베니스영화제에 초청된 이후 7년 만에 '피에타'가 경쟁부문에 진출해 최고상을 수상하는 영예를 안게 됐다.
'피에타'는 경쟁부문에 초청된 테렌스 맬릭 감독의 '투 더 원더(To The Wonder)', 폴 토머스 앤더슨의 '더 마스터(The Master)', 브라이언 드 팔마의 '패션(Passion)' 등 18개 작품 가운데 최우수작품에 선정됐다.