Breath | Chicago Reader

Breath

South Korean director Kim Ki-duk (3-Iron) delivers another study of damaged souls struggling, and inevitably failing, to connect. Trapped in a dead marriage, an aspiring sculptor (Park Ji-a) sees a newscast about the suicide attempt of a death-row prisoner (Chen Chang) and, claiming to be the man's ex-girlfriend, begins showing up at the prison to visit him. He too is trapped, in a bare cell with three other condemned men, and their lives are so void that when he returns from his initial visit with a strand of the woman's hair, one of his cellmates tries to steal it. Oddly, this 2007 drama references Kim's masterpiece Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter . . . and Spring (2003): just as that movie transpired in seasonal chapters, the young woman in this one employs a seasonal theme for each of her visits, decorating the room with wallpaper of spring blooms of fall foliage. Her increasingly intimate encounters with the doomed man are closely monitored by a correctional worker on CCTV, the clear irony being that he isn't much farther removed from the lovers than they are from each other. In Korean with subtitles.

Credits

Director:

  • Ki-duk Kim

Cast:

  • Chen Chang

Writer:

  • Ki-duk Kim

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