PIETA (104', Republic of Korea, 2011) Read more

Director: KIM KI-DUK

With the support of:



“The fine Cho, intensely mysterious as the mother, and Lee, totally ambiguous as the loan collector, make a duet of the absurd which Kim pushes to the limit in the film’s title, likening their relationship to the Christian Pietà and the Virgin Mary’s sorrow cradling the body of her dead son Jesus. This cross-cultural reference hovers uneasily over of a grating, unsettling story.” (Deborah Young, HOLLYWOOD REPORTER)


“The real violence here is financial. It’s clear that the economy, and the recession is first and foremost among the director’s concerns, and the way that Kang-do and his employers prey on those they know can never repay what they borrow has some clear parallels with the mainstream banking industry.” (Oliver Lyttelton, indiewire)


Winner of this year’s Golden Lion in Venice, PIETA by Kim Ki-duk, one of Korea's most innovative and talented filmmakers, is a humanistic movie, a harsh allegory about extreme capitalism and how it shapes and transforms human relationships. Money plays an very central role in the unraveling of the movie’s events, the director being quoted as saying that it is the third main character, alongside the mother and son. Referencing the famous masterpiece by Michelangelo, the movie uses the image of the Virgin Mary embracing the dead body of Jesus Christ to symbolize “an embrace of pain and suffering inherent in the entire human race, thus representing an understanding and a sharing of that pain.” (Kim Ki-duk, Venice press conference)


The movie tells the story of a man that lives as a loan shark, brutally threatening people for paybacks. Having no family, therefore with nothing to lose, he continues this merciless way of life regardless of all the pain he has caused to a countless number of people. One day, a woman appears in front of him claiming to be his mother that abandoned him at birth and taking the blame for the way he turned out. He coldly rejects her at first, but gradually accepts her in his life. Just when he decides to quit his cruel job and to live a decent life, the mother is kidnapped. Assuming that it would be by someone he had hurt in the past, he starts to track down all the people he had harmed. The man finally finds the one, only to discover that dark secrets are better left unrevealed. A nuanced story about revenge and complicity, the blame for the desperate situation isn’t entirely attributed to the ruthless loan shark, but also to the people that irrationally borrow and spend the money, without giving the consequences of their behavior much thought. In this morally ambiguous tale, the viewer is left with the grueling task of deciding whether or not any of the characters deserve mercy. (Diana Mereoiu, BIEFF 2012)

THE WHOLLY FAMILY (20', Italy, 2011) Read more



Winner of last year’s Best European Short Film Prize at the European Film Academy Awards, TERRY GILLIAM's latest film is a surreal adventure comedy, sponsored by the Italian pasta manufacturer Garofalo, in which a young boy dreams of a nightmarish dinner after he's sent to bed without any supper by his parents. THE WHOLLY FAMILY is a charming oneiric journey, felliniesque though its perception of dreams and reality as one simultaneous experience and reminding of Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.