South Korean director Kim Ki-duk has been denied a visa to shoot his magnum opus movie “Who Is God” in China.
Ki-duk seems to be a high-profile victim of the ongoing geopolitical dispute between South Korea and China over missiles.
“Kim Ki-duk has been only granted a tourist visa for one month, while we applied for a work visa for three months,” variety.com quoted the film’s producer Julia Zhang as saying.
Zhang added: “We haven’t been given any official explanation for this yet. We suspect that this has to do with the situation faced by many Korean artists who work with China at this moment. If this situation won’t change within short term, this means indeed that Mr. Kim won’t able to work as director of ‘Who Is God’.”
The project is a large canvas treatise on war and peace and the Buddhist religion, that the South Korean maverick has been trying to mount for most of the past decade.
Ki-duk, who is currently at the Venice Film Festival, is discussing radical contingency plans.
“I’ve recently been flying back and forth since last year. I am to start shooting in October, but suddenly there’s a work visa problem. I don’t know the definite reason. The approval process seems to have become more complicated,” Ki-duk told a Korean-language film publication Cine 21.
He added: “If it doesn’t work out, I may make the film as ‘executive artistic director,’ meaning that I may have a person in China and direct that person in detail from Korea.”