The Korea Herald


Movie director Kim Ki-duk dies of coronavirus

By Shin Ji-hye

Published : Dec. 11, 2020 - 20:25

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Movie director Kim Ki-duk (Yonhap) Movie director Kim Ki-duk (Yonhap)

South Korean movie director Kim Ki-duk died of complications from COVID-19 in Latvia on Friday. 

News reports from Russia said the director died in the hospital from complications associated with COVID-19.

Kim Ki-duk's family confirmed to multiple Korean media that the news was correct and that they had received a call on the day. 

According to the sources, Kim arrived in Latvia in the middle of last month. He reportedly lived there with the help of film industry figures in Latvia. 

He was recently hospitalized due to symptoms of coronavirus, but treatment was unsuccessful.

Debuting in 1996 with the work "Crocodile," Kim is the only South Korean director to win at all three major European film festivals: Cannes, Venice and Berlin.

But the award-winning director has shunned public appearances in Korea since he was accused of sexually assaulting actresses while filming in 2017.

A police case into the main accusation was dropped the following year. Kim tried to sue his accusers for damages, but was unsuccessful.

Since the accusations surfaced he has filmed a movie in Kazakhstan.

On the same day, the Busan International Film Festival director Jeon Yang-joon posted on his social media account that a Kyrgyzstan film critic told him of Kim's passing. 

"(I was told) he passed way two days after being admitted to the hospital," Jeon wrote. "It is a great loss for the Korean film industry."

By Shin Ji-hye ( and Im Eun-byel (