Director Kim Ki Duk Passes Away
Director Kim Ki Duk has passed away while in Latvia.
On December 11, it was reported by the local news portal Delfi that Kim Ki Duk passed away due to COVID-19 complications. It was described that Kim Ki Duk had been in Latvia since November 20 to purchase a home and obtain residency status. It’s reported that he was recently diagnosed with COVID-19 and he died in a hospital after experiencing complications.
A representative from his production company Kim Ki Duk Film has confirmed with Sports Chosun that Kim Ki Duk passed away in Latvia. They stated that nothing has been decided yet about funeral plans as his family had only just heard the news.
Kim Ki Duk, born in 1960, made his debut as a director with the film “Crocodile” in 1996. He became a well known arthouse filmmaker who was recognized internationally for his work including “Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter… and Spring,” “3-Iron,” “Samaria,” “Pietà,” and more. He is the only Korean director to have received awards from the world’s three major international film festivals in Cannes, Venice, and Berlin.
Kim Ki Duk came under controversy in 2017 and 2018 during the “Me Too” movement in Korea. He was accused in 2017 of slapping an actress on a movie set and pressuring her to film a sex scene. He was ordered to pay a fine for just the violence charges in court, while charges related to sexual violence were not pursued by the prosecutors due to lack of evidence.
In March 2018, MBC’s investigative journalism program “PD Notebook” reported on further sexual assault and harassment accusations against him from actresses, and Kim Ki Duk filed a lawsuit against MBC and an actress for damages. He lost the lawsuit and filed an appeal in November of this year.
Following the controversy, Kim Ki Duk’s career has been focused overseas, including filming the Russian-language movie “Dissolve” in Kazakhstan.
Editor’s note: This article has been updated with details about Kim Ki Duk’s career and controversy.