Synopsis by Bhob Stewart
Kim Ki-duk wrote and directed this allegorical South Korean drama about Korean expatriates on the edge of the Paris art world. The original title translates as "Wild Animal Reservation Zone." Artistically inclined hustler Chong-Hae (Cho Jae-hyun) and his pal Hong-san (Jang Dong-jik) sign on as henchmen for a French gangster (Richard Bohringer). Hong-san and Chong-Hae both get involved with women under the thumbs of oppressive Frenchmen. While Hong-San is drawn into the milieu of a stripper, Chong-Hae takes a fancy to a Korean artist. Inspired by Camille Claudel, the talented sculptress portrayed by Isabelle Adjani in Bruno Nuytten's award-winning Camille Claudel (1988), the Korean performance artist paints herself white and then stands nude in various Paris public squares. After she stabs her French oppressor with a frozen fish, more violence erupts. The film's soundtrack mixes Korean pop music with Arabic rhythms. This film was shown at the 1998 Vancouver Film Festival.
artist, expatriate, fishing, gangster, hustler, oppression, sculpture, stripper, violence