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The Foul King

dir. Kim Jee-woon
South Korea 2000, 111’
subtitles: Polish and English

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Polish premiere
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Theatrical Screenings
Th 18 Nov, 20:45
Kinoteka 1
Kinoteka 1
Su 21 Nov, 21:00
Online Availability
17 Nov, 10:00 – 29 Nov
Additional Materials
Awards and festivals
World premiere: Toronto International Film Festival Cine21 2000 - Best Actor of the Year Milano IFF Awards 2001 - Best Director Udine Far East Film Festival 2001 - Audience Award Women in Film Korea Festival 2000 - Woman in Film of the Year
South Korea 2000
Duration: 111’
director: Kim Jee-woon
screenplay: Kim Jee-woon
cinematography: Alex Hong
editing: Ko Im-pyo
music: Uh-Uh-Boo Project
cast: Song Kang-ho, Chang Jin-young, Park Sang-myun, Jung Woong-in
producer: Lee Mi-yeon
executive producer: Oh Jung-Wwn
production: b.o.m film production
language: Korean
colouration: colour

Film description

Wrestling is a choreographed theater of primal aggression. For years, Dae-ho has been watching the clashes of wrestlers, pumped-up with testosterone. He knows all their signature punches and throws by heart. He can only dream about a career on the ring – he is a complete wimp, a slouch bank clerk whom his boss publicly uses to test his humiliating grips. Oh, and he lives with his dad.

Yet fate gives Dae-ho a chance to prove himself in professional wrestling. The owner of a rundown club offers him the role of a masked Foul King, fighting his opponents with dirty tricks and clever gadgets, to the delight of the crowds. Dae-ho enters the bizarre world of wrestlers and starts a series of intense trainings that are supposed to pave his way to the top. Will they boost his self-esteem enough to let him take revenge on his bullies and win the heart of his beloved?

"The Foul King" is the second film by Kim Jee-woon, an outstanding auteur of New Korean Cinema. The director talks about the brutal sport in a surprising, bitter-sweet, melancholic tone, creating a farce about the fight for one's dignity in an unjust world. The film owes much of its success to the nuanced, dramatic, yet highly comical acting of Song Kang-ho. This was the actor's first leading role on his way to stardom.

The soundtrack includes pieces by UhUhBoo, a band know for their collaboration with Park Chan-wook and Pina Bausch, which gave a live performance at the 7th Five Flavours.

Marcin Krasnowolski

Jee-woon Kim

Born in 1964, the leading member of the New Korean Cinema, combining auteur successes with box office ambitions. He was first noticed for his pitch-black comedy "The Quiet Family." His subsequent films show his strong affiliation with genre cinema – "The Foul King" is a sports film, "A Tale of Two Sisters" is a horror, "A Bittersweet Life" is a gangster film, and "I Saw the Devil" is a revenge thriller. After his Hollywood debut ("The Last Stand"), he returned to Korea.

Selected filmography:

1998 Spokojna rodzinka / Choyonghan kajok / The Quiet Family

2000 Król fauli / Banchikwang / The Foul King

2003 Opowieść o dwóch siostrach / Janghwa, Hongryeon / A Tale of Two Sisters

2005 Słodko-gorzkie życie / Dalkomhan Insaeng / A Bittersweet Life

2008 Dobry, zły i zakręcony / Joheunnom nabbeunnom isanghannom / The Good, the Bad and the Weird

2018 Illang: Wilcza brygada / In-lang / Illang: The Wolf Brigade

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