The only Korean film director to have won awards at three major international film festivals died at a local hospital in Latvia on 11 December.
He visited the country to but a mansion in the Latvian resort city Jurmala to secure permanent residency there and was preparing to shoot a new film with the Estonian Film Promotion Committee.
Kim won the Silver Bear in Berlin for Samaritan Girl and the Silver Lion in Venice for 3-Iron - both in 2004 - and won the 'Un Certain Regard' Award in Cannes in 2011 for Arirang. In 2012, his film Pieta won the Award for Future Movies at the Küstendorf Film and Music Festival, and the Golden Lion at Venice and in 2014 he won The Venice Days Best Film Award for One on One in Venice. He was recognised as one of the most important Asian film directors. His most famous work is “Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring” filmed in 2003 and now considered by many critics as a classic.
The last years of Kim's life were overshadowed by controversy as allegations were made of misogyny in his films and sexual misconduct from four women in 2017 and 2018. But in 2019 the charges were dismissed for lack of evidence and Kim filed a lawsuit against them for false accusation and the damage they caused for him.
Netizens' opinions on the death of Kim Ki-duk were split because of the controversy: some admitted his talent and some could not forgive him for the allegations made against him.
Kim ki-Duk— rohini (@moltomoltoroho) December 13, 2020
Thank you for these pic.twitter.com/AdMmMbN3zA
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring (2003)— 👽 (@rickyrickio) December 13, 2020
Dir: Kim ki-duk
When I started taking more interest in films and the function they serve as. This film created a path for what type of films I will feel connected and attracted to. R.I.P Kim Ki-duk 🤍 pic.twitter.com/gjIKzQlGhr
A prominent South Korean expressed RIP to Kim Ki-duk. My response: F*CK You, you are a hypocrite. pic.twitter.com/m7WFKHjUja— Seongyong Cho (@kaist455) December 13, 2020
I'm SO TIRED of men (with some women) flooding sentiments and romanticization for Kim Ki-duk. No he wasn't on an artistic "self-exile", he was trying to escape the legal consequences for his crimes in Korea. He was not a person tormented by "difficult times", his victims were.— Quartettsatz (@ThePetrouchka) December 13, 2020