Passion on death row, Soiuth Korea's entry

20th May 2007, Comments 0 comments

CANNES, France, May 20, 2007 (AFP) - "Breath," a film about passion on death row which is one of South Korea's entries for the top Cannes prize, is all about the yin and yang of life, director Kim Ki-duk said in an interview.

CANNES, France, May 20, 2007 (AFP) - "Breath," a film about passion on death row which is one of South Korea's entries for the top Cannes prize, is all about the yin and yang of life, director Kim Ki-duk said in an interview.

"Breathing accompanies us every day until death. It's really the symbol of life," he told AFPTV. "That picks up the idea of yin and yang," he added, referring to the dual concept underpinning much Asian thought.

The 46-year-old director, whose films have been repeatedly selected to screen at European film festivals, said "Breath" ("Soom") showed that while a death row inmate's breath would soon be cut, others too had trouble living -- and therefore breathing -- at times.

In the low-budget movie, which took 10 days of shooting, a woman who finds out her husband has a mistress goes to meet a convicted murderer after seeing on television that he has just attempted to commit suicide.

Passing herself off as his former girlfriend, she establishes contact with him, and returns several times.

The film has little dialogue and Taiwanese actor Chang Chen, who plays the condemned man, never speaks.

"He's an actor with really deep eyes. Because he has no dialogue we needed an actor who used his body to show his feelings. He succeeded."

Kim said Zia, who plays the wronged wife, had had a career on stage. "She also surprised me in the role."

At each visit, where she creates a seasonal background of spring, summer and autumn, the contact between the two grows to a passion.

"The film is dark and light," Kim said. "We had to show the seasons so the inmate could relive them before his death."

Inevitably, the husband finds out about the affair but cannot stop his wife from returning for a last impassioned embrace before all returns to normal -- she becomes a happy mother again and the prisoner faces his fate.

"The end is neither happy nor unhappy," the film-maker said. "That's why I chose an ending that would really be part of a continuum. I mean -- life continues."


Copyright AFP

SUbject: French news, Cannes Film Festival

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