Presented at the Festival Iinérance of Alès, THE NET Korean Kim Ki-Duk. Or the descent into hell of a north Korean failed by accident in south Korea, and wrongly accused of being a spy. A powerful film masterfully played by Ryoo Seung-bum.

History: Nam, Chul-woo (Ryoo Seung-bum), a fisherman in north korea, passes through in spite of himself the demarcation line with south Korea and finds himself questioned by the police who suspect him of being a spy. Then begins for him a veritable obstacle course to prove his innocence and reunite with his family.

Here’s the trailer (VO)

Beyond the story nightmare of the detention of an unfortunate innocent, THE NET denounces all the hypocrisy and the failings of the regimes in Korean on one side or the other seeming to point to the impossibility of a reunion between two visions of the world that everything between them. If the criticism toward North Korea seems to be fierce (at the same time, it seems difficult to defend such a dictatorship where the submission of the spirits is in order), Kim Ki-duk is not tender, more with South Korea and raises the question of freedom and happiness. Live free does not mean to live a happy life. It is the sad fact of Nam Chul-woo who, forced to wander in Seoul, discovers a violent society and unfair, notably embodied by a prostitute who he helps and who is obliged to sell his body to help his family.

“A fisherman becomes in spite of himself the challenge of the Korean conflict. A masterful film signed by Kim ki duk ” Click to tweet

Nam, Chul-woo has never known anything other than his country and his miserable life. How, then, would he account for his misery ? The fear and the ignorance in which are immersed the north koreans can avoid the slightest insurrection, or comparison. Arriving in Seoul, the fisherman is given a makeover in jogging pants and sneakers by the police refuses to open his eyes and allow ourselves to be corrupted by images of a world that could be for him no return. “It is difficult to forget what one has seen” , he said. The police in south korea, however, is determined to “save” him and allow him to remain among them even if it means abandoning his wife and his little girl. He can always establish a new family suggested to him that he does. Only his body guard, revolted by the fierceness of the investigator determined to prove that the small fisherman is in fact a spy, will do everything to help him find his.

Who are we to impose our vision of happiness ? Happiness must necessarily rhyme with the codes of a liberal society of consumption ? The first plans of Nam Chul-woo on the city are very striking. The windows of the shops attract such spellbinding Lorelei. But very quickly, the fisherman strays in the slums and discovers the other side of the picture, the waste, the poverty and the suffering.

This is one of the great strengths of the film that get to draw the contours of this narrative, to avoid any manicheism. Far from bias, Kim Ki-duk asks with subtlety, our place in the world and the notion of freedom. There is no perfect world, and everyone, under the guise of ideology, and proposes a model of questionable and a source of injustice and violence. In addition to the Korean conflict, north-south, THE NET turns out to be a dark story and a universality blatant as it focuses on malfunctions and the dehumanization of our worlds (in the plural). A real slap !

Anne Laure Farges


Original title : Geu-Mul

Realization and scenario : Kim Ki-duk

Main players : Ryoo Seung-bum, Young-Min Kim, Lee Won-geun,

Release Date : Soon

Duration : 1h51min
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