Kim Ki-duk's Controversial 'Moebius' to Be Unveiled at Venice

The Golden Lion-winning South Korean director has cut more scenes of incestuous sex in hopes of overturning a media rating board ban, and will be holding a vote to see if local industry insiders agree with the ruling.

South Korean filmmaker Kim Ki-duk’s latest and perhaps most controversial film Moebius will premiere at the 70th Venice Film Festival, festival organizers announced Thursday. It will be shown out of competition. It is Kim’s sixth film to be invited to the Italian event.

The director, who won last year’s Golden Lion for Pieta, recently made headlines by cutting over 20 scenes from Moebius in hopes of overturning a media board ruling that virtually bans the film from being shown. The Korea Media Rating Board (KMRB) gave Moebius a “restricted rating” for portraying incestuous sex, meaning that it could only be shown in specialty theaters and no such theaters exist in Korea.

When the KMRB repeated the ruling, Kim decided to cut an additional 12 scenes or about 50 seconds of the running time for a third appeal. All direct portrayals of incestuous sex have consequently been deleted from the story about the downfall of a family as its members give into taboo carnal desires.

Furthermore, the filmmaker plans to hold a special screening Friday at the Korea Film Council, inviting journalists, critics, and cineastes to watch the film — after signing an agreement not to write about the film through any form of media, personal social networking tools included — and take part in a vote about their opinion on the KMRB ruling.

“If 30 percent do not approve of my film I will not release it in theaters,” Kim said in a press release.