Awarded the Golden Lion over The Master and To the Wonder by Michael Mann’s jury at the Venice Film Festival last year, Pieta is a blistering drama from the celebrated and controversial Korean director Kim Ki-Duk (Bad Guy; Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter… And Spring; 3-Iron). In this intense and haunting story, a brutal loan shark is living an isolated and lonely existence when a mysterious woman appears claiming to be his long-lost mother. Suspicious, he subjects her to a series of tests and humiliations, but cannot shake her adoration - a love that opens up the hope of redemption. However, it may be too late to escape the horrific consequences of his past.
Violent and provocative, Pieta is nothing if not extreme, a movie reveling in almost absurdist dichotomies of good and evil. But if you can stomach the challenging first hour, the pay off tells us something unexpectedly poetic and moving about the relative value of money and compassion in today’s capitalist society.
"A master provocateur playing out his own neuroses and obsessions on the big screen…Like Lars Von Trier, his films don’t always work. But when they do … well, when they do Kim is capable of creating work that disturbs and troubles and finds beauty in unexpected places. This is one of those films." Todd Brown, Twitch
"The worst major festival winner since the Palme d’Or for Amour." Christoph Huber, Cinema Scope
"Pieta," a curiously engaging and wickedly twisted tale of crime and punishment on multiple levels, displays its theatrical minimalism like a dour badge of honor. " Eric Kohn, Indiewire