BERLIN (AFP) – A South Korean director within the eye of a #MeToo storm defiantly rejected abuse accusations towards him on the Berlin movie competition on Saturday (Feb 17), saying he ensures nobody “suffers” on the units of his ultraviolent, sexually express artwork films.
Acclaimed filmmaker Kim Ki-duk, who has picked up prizes on the Cannes, Venice and Berlinale festivals, confronted a barrage of reporter questions on allegations of bodily and sexual abuse by an actress he labored with in 2013.
His invitation to the Berlinale prompted the actress to accuse competition organisers of “hypocrisy” given the highlight the 11-day event has mentioned it desires to coach on rampant sexual misconduct within the business.
Kim, 57, insisted that “safety and respect” take high precedence in all of his productions.
“We don’t want anyone hurt while making a film. We don’t want anyone to suffer when making a film,” he informed a news conference, talking via an interpreter.
“No matter how fantastic a film is, we must make sure that nobody feels insulted during shooting and that applies for everybody, both cast and crew. That’s been my fundamental approach therefore I very much regret this incident.”
‘RELATED TO ARTISTIC PERFORMANCE’
Asked whether or not he wished to apologise for his treatment of the actress, who has declined to be publicly named, Kim insisted he was unaware of any wrongdoing on his half.
“What we were actually doing was rehearsing a scene. We were on the set, there were a lot of people present. My crew back then did not object at all or say that it was inappropriate,” he mentioned.
“I don’t remember exactly what happened but it really was related to artistic performance, to the acting. I believe that the actress interpreted this incident differently than I did.”
The actress got here ahead final 12 months and mentioned Kim compelled her into undesirable, unscripted intercourse and nude scenes and slapped her repeatedly whereas capturing his 2013 award-winning movie Moebius – earlier than changing her with one other actress.
Prosecutors dropped the intercourse abuse cost citing lack of proof however fined Kim 5 million gained (S$6,000) for assault underneath a process to settle minor circumstances out of courtroom.
The actress – who mentioned she give up appearing as a result of trauma – has appealed towards the choice to dismiss the intercourse abuse allegation.
But Kim mentioned for him the case was closed.
“There’s been a ruling in this case now and I’ve shouldered the responsibility,” he mentioned.
“I don’t entirely agree with the ruling but I believe that these processes are also part and parcel of changing the system and helping us to make progress in the film industry. I’ll certainly bear this in mind in future as well.”
‘DON’T DRAW CONCLUSIONS’
Kim was in Berlin to current his newest image Human, Space, Time And Human, which like a lot of his movies consists of brutal rape scenes.
He insisted his films’ typically violent content material didn’t replicate his personal behaviour.
“I would like to be a good human being in my life,” he mentioned.
“My daily life is not like my films and I wouldn’t like to live that way. So please don’t draw conclusions about my personality because of looking at my films.”
Japanese actress Mina Fujii, who performs Eve within the movie, an allegorical mom of humanity who is raped by 5 males on display screen, mentioned she had a great expertise making the film.
“Working with Kim Ki-duk was very positive, there was a pleasant atmosphere on the set,” she mentioned.
“That may be a little bit surprising when you look at this rather particular film.” The Berlinale, the primary main European movie competition because the wave of abuse allegations about highly effective producer Harvey Weinstein emerged in October, is specializing in the #MeToo drive with a sequence of initiatives and public debates.
Organisers had rebuffed the criticism over Kim’s inclusion earlier than the opening on Thursday, noting that the intercourse abuse allegation towards him was dismissed and insisting the competition “opposes and condemns any form of violence or sexual misconduct”.
On Saturday, Paris-based movie rights vendor Daniela Elstner launched the Speak Up! marketing campaign on the competition, aiming to fight sexual harassment throughout the European leisure business.
Its web site lays out pointers for acceptable behaviour and presents sources for victims to hunt assist.