Ki-young Kim

Ki-young Kim – Iodo AKA Io Island (1977)

A company is studying the possibility to open a spa hotel named after a mythical island, Ieodo. The island is inhabited by the souls of drowned sailors. During a study trip to the location of the hotel lost a journalist under mysterious circumstances. One of the contractors go to Ieodo’s neighboring island, populated by widows of the dead sailors, to unravel the disappearance. Read More »

Ki-young Kim – Hwanyeo AKA Fire Woman (1970)

A variation on Kim’s classic The Housemaid (1960). The lives of a composer and his wife, who live on a chicken farm, are thrown into turmoil when a femme fatale joins their household. Read More »

Ki-young Kim – Goryeo jang AKA Burying Old Alive (1963)

Prior to the adoption of Confucianism, it was the tradition to abandon one’s parents on a mountainside if they were over 70 years of age. In the ancient kingdom of Goryeo, now modern Korea, a nobleman defies this tradition when he refuses to leave his mother to starve to death. Read More »

Ki-young Kim – Salinnabileul ggotneun yeoja AKA Woman Chasing the Butterfly of Death (1978)

A depressed young man crosses paths with a woman who commits suicide, a book salesman obsessed with the will to live, a resurrected female corpse, and a archaeologist and his unstable artist daughter, in a fantasy tale of life and death. Read More »

Ki-young Kim – Hanyo AKA The Housemaid (1960)


In 2003, Jean-Michel Frodon, editor-in-chief of Cahiers du cinéma, wrote that the discovery of The Housemaid by the West, over forty years after the film’s debut, was a “marvelous feeling– marvelous not just because one finds in writer-director Kim Ki-young a truly extraordinary image maker, but in his film such an utterly unpredictable work.”
Comparing the director to Luis Buñuel, Frodon wrote Kim is “capable of probing deep into the human mind, its desires and impulses, while paying sarcastic attention to the details…” He called The Housemaid “shocking”, noting that “…the shocking nature of the film is both disturbing and pleasurable…” Frodon pointed out that The Housemaid was only one early major film in the director’s career, and that Kim Ki-young would continue “running wild through obsessions and rebellion” with his films for decades to come. Read More »