Venice: Kim Ki-duk Addresses Denied China Work Visa

Kim Ki-duk - Getty - H 2016
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Kim Ki-duk

"Probably there were problems in China because of the title of the film," he says. "It’s a problem the two governments have to solve."

Kim Ki-duk on Thursday addressed China's decision to deny him a work visa for the filming of his next movie, Who Is God, which is a South Korea-China-U.S. co-production.

“Yes, it’s true, I confirm,” said Kim during a press conference at the Venice Film Festival for his film The Net. “The business working visa to China has not been accepted, nor [been] given to me, so at the moment all the programming activities of working with this next film have been stopped.”

Continued the Korean filmmaking veteran: “Personally, however, I can’t say anything as regards to the visa, if there is a solution to the visa. It’s something the two states have to deal with, my government of South Korea and the government of China. It’s a problem the two governments have to solve. I certainly can’t resolve it myself."

He added: "Probably there were problems in China because of the title of the film I intended to shoot there ... means ‘There Is No God,’ or divinity, which is how it’s translated from the Korean."

Concluded the director: “But the fact that the activity of this film is suspended, doesn’t mean I won’t continue to prepare the film.” He added, “I’m not sure which countries I’ll shoot this film in, but I’ll continue as I did with The Net.”

The planned co-production has been scheduled to begin shooting in October, but recent geopolitical tensions have emerged. In recent months, Chinese state-backed media have criticized Seoul's decision to deploy THAAD, a U.S.-made missile defense system, on the Korean Peninsula.

Kim said that his new film, The Net — a pic about the unintended consequences of a straying fishing boat, which premiered out of competition in Venice — was a reaction to the escalating tensions between North and South Korea.

“Several people thought we were on the brink of a new war,” he explained of the tensions in Asia. “With this film, my idea was to give the idea of a possible wise solution that could see the two Koreas solve the problem by themselves, a problem which for years has afflicted them.”