Archive of films Samaritan Girl / Samaria

South Korea
2004, 95 min

Section: Horizons
Year: 2004

Leading South Korean director Kim Ki-duk earned himself the Silver Bear for directing Samaria at this year’s Berlinale. This simple tale of two high school girls who turn tricks after school is a mixture of Buddhist teaching and Catholic guilt and redemption. It marks the director’s return to an earlier ethos of his filmmaking career.


Two Seoul high school girls earn the money for a trip to Europe in an unusual way: Jae-young turns tricks and Yeo-jin arranges customers. The girls see nothing unusual in this. But one day Jae-young is fatally injured. As a result of the shock caused by this tragic event, Yeo-jin decides to offer herself to their former clients in atonement. But then Yeo-jin’s father, a police detective, accidentally finds out what his daughter has been doing after school... Leading South Korean director Kim Ki-duk, whose films were presented in retrospective at Karlovy Vary in 2002, seems to have abandoned the controversy of his prior work: Samaria, too, makes use of violence, sex and death but does so in a somewhat different way. Once again we are confronted by a strange and disaffected world, pervaded by an unusual mood, and supported by lyric music and the atmosphere of a Korean autumn.

About the director

Kim Ki-duk (b. 1960, Kyungsang Province) as a young man worked in a factory, was a sailor, and spent five years in the army. He also sold his paintings for two years in Paris. He then began writing screenplays and made a name for himself as a controversial director of films that combined deep melancholy with brutality and erotic extremes. He has become South Korea’s leading director, and his films were profiled at the 37th Karlovy Vary IFF (2002). His work often features outcasts or those hounded by obsessive feelings of guilt. Selected filmography: Crocodile (Ageo, 1996), the drama Wild Animals (Yasaengdongmulbohogu-yeog, 1997), the comedy Birdcage Inn (Parandaemun, 1998), The Isle (Seom, 2000), the political drama Address Unknown (Soochweein boolmyung, 2001), Bad Guy (Na-bbun-nam-ja, 2001), The Coast Guard (Haeansun, 2002), Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter...and Spring (Bom, Yeoreum, Gaeul, Gyeoul...Geurigo Bom, 2003), Samaritan Girl (2004). Kim Ki-duk took the Silver Bear for directing Samaritan Girl at this year’s Berlinale.


Cineclick Asia
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Korea (Republic of)
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About the film

Color, 35 mm

Section: Horizons
Director: Kim Ki-duk
Screenplay: Kim Ki-duk
Dir. of Photography: Sun Sang-jae
Music: Park Ji
Editor: Kim Ki-duk
Producer: Kim Dong-joo, Bae Jeong-min, Kim Yoon-ho
Production: Kim Ki-duk Film
Cast: Lee Uhl, Kwak Ji-min, Seo Min-jung
Contact: Cineclick Asia

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