Archive of films Breath / Soom

South Korea
2007, 84 min

Section: Open Eyes
Year: 2007

Artist Yeon lives in a luxury house with her husband and small daughter. When she discovers that her husband is having an affair, she focuses all her attention on Jin – a prisoner on death row whom she has only seen on the news. But it isn’t long before her husband uncovers this fragile bond… Director Kim Ki-duk continues developing his laconic, poetic style in this, his fourteenth film.


“Sometimes in life we get into difficult situations where it’s like we can’t even breathe,” says South Korean director Kim Ki-duk, whose films are shown at Karlovy Vary almost every year. In this, his fourteenth film, two people who would otherwise never meet find themselves in just such a situation. Artist Yeon lives a comfortable but otherwise empty life in a luxurious house by the side of her unfaithful and indifferent husband. Three-time killer Jin lives in a cell with three other condemned criminals and is awaiting execution. TV news reports about his suicide attempts rouse Yeon from her apathy. She goes to see Jin in prison and begins a strange relationship with him. Her jealous husband tries to put an end to it, but in doing so he too begins to change. Breath is the next of Kim Ki-duk’s intimate dramas about the lives of outcasts, told in an unmistakably stark, but at the same time strangely poetic style, that gets by for the most part without words.

About the director

Kim Ki-duk (b. 1960, Bonghwa, South Korea) started directing films relatively late, after the age of 30. In his youth he worked in a factory, made a living as a sailor, and spent five years in the army. He also spent two years trying to make it as a painter in Paris. It was only in the mid-1990s that he began to make his way as a controversial creator of strange stories, in which dark melancholy mixes with brutality and erotic extremes. He became the best known South Korean director thanks to his tremendous application: he works at the pace of one film a year and his work meets with success at the world’s most prestigious festivals. His profile was introduced at the 37th Karlovy Vary IFF. Many of his films have been released in arthouse Czech distribution – such as Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring (Bom, Yeoreum, Gaeul, Gyeoul... Geurigo Bom, 2003), 3-Iron (Bin-Jip, 2004), The Bow (Hwal, 2005), and Time (Shi gan, 2006).


Cineclick Asia
3F Incline Bldg., 891-37 Daechi-dong, Gangnam-gu, 135-280, Seoul
Korea (Republic of)
Tel: +82 2 538 0211, 12
Fax: +82 2 538 0479

Artcam Films
Rašínovo nábřeží 6, 128 00, Praha 2
Czech Republic
Tel: +420 221 411 619
Fax: +420 221 411 699

About the film

Color, 35 mm

Section: Open Eyes
Director: Kim Ki-duk
Screenplay: Kim Ki-duk
Dir. of Photography: Sung Jong-moo
Music: Kim Myung-jong
Editor: Wang Su-an
Producer: Kim Ki-duk
Production: Kim Ki-duk Film
Cast: Chang Chen, Zia, Ha Jung-woo
Contact: Cineclick Asia, Artcam Films
Distributor: Artcam Films


Ina Park

Barbora Mudrová



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