When a local pimp is publicly humiliated by a snobbish college girl, he manipulates her into a life of sexual slavery at his brothel. As he watches her nightly humiliation from behind a two-way mirror, his obsessive desire consumes him while she learns there is no love more complete than her captor’s. —IMDb
One of the most controversial Korean directors, Kim Ki-duk is a self-taught filmmaker who prides himself on his outsider status, openly setting himself apart from contemporaries like Hong Sang-soo and Lee Chang-dong, who he considers too intellectual. Kim’s films have drawn vitriol for their subject matter and praise for their technique, and he has often been compared to his predecessor Kim Ki-young, who was also self-taught and whose films bear a much less brutal, but equally eccentric, personal stamp. Born in a mountainous village, Kim moved with his family to Seoul at the age of nine. During his teenage years he dropped out of school and worked in factories, and at the age of 20, he began a five-year stint in the marines, the toughest and most demanding branch of the Korean military. These early experiences would inspire the gritty milieu and dim view of human relationships that characterize his films. A painter since childhood, Kim went to France in 1990, where he studied art and… read more
On 2nd watch this is still mesmerizing, with an unfixed erotic energy like Sternberg, Bunuel and Lynch. It's about karma, and how once a life is touched by pain a person has to start lying to one extent or another. You have to go through hell to find both pain and honesty in life, and it breaks people, it's horrible and inevitable. So it's better to be born into pain in some ways. It makes love more real.