Directed by Ki-Duk Kim and released in it’s home country of South Korea in 2012.
An interesting return to filmmaking for Ki-Duk Kim, who escaped the industry in 2008 after Dream and returned with Arirang in 2011 – a documentary exploring his inner self – aswell as Amen which is yet to surface on DVD or online. With Pieta he doesn’t swim too close to themes expressed in Arirang but he does manage to capture some of those from his earlier work, what with Kim bringing sex back to the forefront, ala The Isle and Samaritan Girl. Pieta also marks the first film in which Kim really involves criminals in his plots.
As the credits say, this is his 18th film but it’s not one of his best although it is very interesting to see the transition back into filmmaking after leaving the industry for three years. There is a definite shift in pace compared to his last two films, Dream and Breath. The lead male performance I wasn’t that big of a fan of but the role of the mother was excellently played and is among my favourite supporting actress performances from this year.
Kim almost always manages to only bring the best out in his actors so it is too bad that the actor couldn’t do something better with his character. While this is one sad change, the ending is typical for Kim’s style – a terrible event that brings the plot full circle.