Arirang
아리랑
South Korea, 2011, 100 minutes, SD
Arirang Synopsis

While shooting a suicide scene for his last film, DREAM, in 2008, the lead actress nearly perished and the incident triggered an emotional and creative breakdown for the director.


As an act of self-administered therapy, ARIRANG takes playful liberties with the documentary form as Kim Ki-duk traces his experiences and mindset during this period of crisis.


ARIRANG marks Kim Ki-duk’s triumphant return to cinema after an absence of three years. ARIRANG offers audiences a unique and indiscreet look at the man regarded as one of Korea’s greatest living directors.



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Reviewed by jeteli
This is a film that will give viewers the realization that no matter how famous and renowned a person is, he experiences depression and downfalls, like everyone else.  In this... more
This is a film that will give viewers the realization that no matter how famous and renowned a person is, he experiences depression and downfalls, like everyone else.  In this case, it's Director Kim ki-duk, the renowned and multi-awarded South Korean film-maker famous for films like Moebius and Spring, Summer,Fall, Winter..and Spring, among others and recipient of various international awards from Venice, Berlin and Cannes Film Festivals. One would wonder what could make a genius filmmaker like him bend and waver? A traumatic experience while shooting the Dreams movie is said to be the reason and viewers can't help but empathize with what he has to go through.  I am in a way intrigued with the film's title and found out that it's a Korean folk song of sorts but that, it's also a term synonymous with suffering. Truly, the filmmaker suffered internally because of the incident and the film, while it documents his journey to self-therapy is also a reminder for us all;  we are all capable of suffering and our characters undergo tests but it is in confronting these traumas and trials that we can learn so much and hopefully become better, renewed and refreshed, in a way,  just like what Kim ki-duk had to go through. 
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Reviewed by nikkareyes
Director Kim ki-duk gets really sincere and personal with this documentary, a  very sincere part of him revealed. As one of the renowned directors in recent years, he gets really... more
Director Kim ki-duk gets really sincere and personal with this documentary, a  very sincere part of him revealed. As one of the renowned directors in recent years, he gets really emotional here and expresses his feelings in a no-holds barred fashion. Traumatized for a near-death experience while filming a movie, he goes into reclusion for 3 years,  quite a feat and a long time to be alone. With the help of his interviewer self he bares all and viewers get a bird's eye view of his thoughts and realizations.  This film won the Un certain regard award from Cannes Film Festival,  another feather to Kim ki-duk's cap,  a creative result out of the outpourings of his sufferings and frustrations. 
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Reviewed by josephcalingasa
I find this a very peculiar but mentally stimulating film. Director Kim ki-duk  is seen going into some kind of hiatus and lives alone in a shabby house on the... more
I find this a very peculiar but mentally stimulating film. Director Kim ki-duk  is seen going into some kind of hiatus and lives alone in a shabby house on the hills.  Save for a cat, he is alone and only interacts with the cat to give it food.  Scenes of Kim ki-duk doing his usual day to day routines like brushing his teeth and eating the same kind of food will leave some viewers feeling bored but ultimately you will begin to grasp what's in his thoughts starting with that scene where he narrates in front of the camera what goes on in a usual filming set-up and discusses about the actors. He also gives an introspective look on the profession, then he tries to say "what did you just say" applying various emotion and tone, Viewers will see an alter ego of sorts of the director, the one doing all the asking and even sort of interrogating him.  This scene I find revealing and viewers start to understand the whole purpose of his solitary existence. In part, this is a sort of therapy for him to cleanse himself and to reassess his own purpose, not only as a film maker but as a human being, who like everyone else, goes through some life-changing events that are hard to cope.  I was particularly moved by that part, where the alter-ego, his own  self with hair tied up, tells him that he himself points out in his past films that love withers but that's life. It's like a self-sermon and an attempt to jolt his own self who seems to have lost the zest for life and for his career.  Queer, self-examining and very, very honest, here is one compelling self-portrait of someone who has to deal with a traumatic experience but ultimately transforms himself out of that trauma with a very intrinsic self-scrutiny and self-discovery.   
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  • The trailer leaves you intrigued. Will definitely watch this!

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  • The trailer leaves you intrigued. Will definitely watch this!
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