Venice Golden Lion-winning Korean director Kim Ki-duk’s upcoming film Moebius has received a “Restricted” rating from the Korea Media Rating Board (KMRB), effectively banning it from local commercial release unless it is re-cut and re-submitted to the board.
KMDB states Moebius is “a film that is only possible to screen in restricted theatres due to unethical, anti-social expression portraying sexual relations between immediate family, etc. and images and method of expression that includes content harmful to youth in terms of theme, violence, horror, and danger of imitation.”
The “Restricted” rating blocks a film from commercial release in South Korea as the country has no restricted theatres. Filmmakers can re-edit and re-submit films to the board for a new rating. One way of showing restricted films in their original form is through film festival screenings. Production company Kim Ki-duk Film has said it is considering its options.
An international film festival favorite who often sees solid pre-sales on his auteur films, Kim Ki-duk has often had a contentious relationship with the local industry and audiences. Last year, however, he won the Venice Golden Lion with revenge story Pieta, which then clocked up $3.9m with 602,967 admissions.
Described by KMDB as “a film that portrays the process of a man who has grown up in a home wrecked by his father’s infidelity and ends up forsaking the world,” Moebius includes self-castration on the part of the father.
Kim Ki-duk has said of the film: “Family, desires, and genitals are one from the start. Originally we are born in desire and we reproduce in desire. So we are connected as one like the Moebius strip, thus me envying, hating, and loving myself.”
The film’s sales agent, Finecut, yesterday announced a slew of pre-sales on the title throughout Europe including to German and Italian-speaking territories.