South Korean film director Kim Ki-duk died of complications from a Covid-19 infection in Latvia on Friday (Dec 11), according to news reports. Multiple news reports from Russia said the director died in the hospital from complications associated with Covid-19.
According to entertainment news sources, Kim arrived in Latvia in the middle of last month. He reportedly lived there with the help of film industry figures in Latvia. He was recently hospitalized due to symptoms of coronavirus but was reported to have died after treatment. The hospital had yet to confirm Kim’s death due to privacy protection rules.
Award-winning South Korean Film Director Kim Ki-duk
Kim, 59, is an award-winning South Korean film director and had won prestigious awards including the Golden Lion at the 2012 Venice Film Festival for his movie Pieta.
Born in 1960, Kim made his name with a series of violent yet aesthetically challenging features, including The Isle (2000) and Bad Guy (2001) – the former of which was sanctioned by the British Board of Film Classification for animal cruelty.
Subsequently, he became a fixture on the international festival circuit with films such as Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter … and Spring (2003) and 3-Iron (2004), and he would go on to win the Golden Lion at Venice with his 2012 film Pieta, which the Guardian described as “bristl[ing] with Kim’s trademark anger and agony”.
However, Kim’s directing career was derailed after he was accused in 2018 of rape and sexual assault by three women. It is along with his regular acting collaborator Cho Jae-hyun. Charges against Kim were dropped for lack of evidence, but he was fined 5m Korean won (£3,480).
Kim then sued one of his accusers and the makers of a documentary about the case for defamation but lost. Kim completed one more film after the scandal, the Russian-language film Dissolve, which was shot in Kazakhstan.