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I Saw the Devil release delayed

2010/08/06 Source

Kim Jee-woon's latest noir-thriller "I Saw the Devil" has seen just that in the form of the Korea Media Rating Board, having received a "restricted" rating, effectively banning the film, following a wrangle over problematic scenes.

The film's production company Peppermint and Co. resubmitted the film recently after a month of re-editing in the hopes of receiving an 18+ rating. The Rating Board's decision to re-apply the "restricted" rating resulted in the cancellation of the film's press screening last Thursday. The thriller was originally slated for a wide release August 11.

KIM Hyun-woo, the film's producer, defended the artistic integrity of the movie, saying it portrayed revenge from the eyes of the victim and was deliberately realistic. The Board argued that the scenes in question "severely damaged the dignity of human values".

A "restricted" rating in Korea means the film is only eligible for limited screenings in special theaters which exclusively program adult films. As no such theaters exist in Korea, the film is effectively banned. Advertising and marketing "restricted" films are also banned.

The commercial thriller, distributed by Showbox, will have no choice but to compromise and make further cuts. The film stars top Korean actor Lee Byung-hun as a secret agent who hunts down and exacts gruesome revenge on the psychopath (played by veteran thesp Choi Min-sik) who killed his fiancée.

Nigel D'Sa (KOFIC)

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