Film "Lies" Faces Ban by ProsecutionIs it art or pornography?
The nation is currently embroiled in a mass of conflicting opinions over 'Lies', an erotic domestic movie.
The Seoul District Prosecution's Office Wednesday decided to summon 'Lies' director Chang Sun-woo and ShinCine representative Chin Chul this weekend for a precise investigation of the explicit content of the film.
Initially the prosecution tried to execute a course of action to arrest Chang and Shin, on the charge of producing and distributing pornographic materials to the public, but instead decided to continue gauging opinion on this issue of cultural morality.
A source from the office stated, 'We have encountered serious problems of infants and juveniles being allowed to enter movie theaters even though the film was approved for spectators over 18 only.'
'Lies' contains scenes in which a 40-year-old sculptor canes an 18-year-old female high school student, and features other expressions of masochism and sadism, provoking an outcry from civil organizations.
The prosecution also added that the author of the book on which the film is based, Chang Jong-il, has already served a 10-month sentence. It said makers of explicit movies should be aware that juveniles can be exposed to them through illicit CD and Internet copying.
On the other hand, cinema commentators and artists have been angered by the prosecution's actions.
As Korean movies are enjoying increasing popularity these days, with 40 percent of moviegoers seeing Korean-made films, and are successfully competing against Hollywood blockbusters after a long recession, these people worry about the industry being dealt a hard blow from the governmental institute.
Movie commentator Yang Yoon-mo stated, 'In the period of this political administration, the cultural atmosphere has been more open-minded, with mature audiences drawing distinctions between the arts. In spite of the arguments raging over 'Lies', the cultural inspectors should not revert to conservatism.'
Dongkook University professor Yoo Ji-na, who has seen the movie twice, also commented that those spearheading the investigation have less understanding of arts and culture, as they hastily determined to arrest the director and sponsors without listening to the opinions of the artistic community.
They said as the government itself finally allowed the movie to be screened after twice denying it approval, the government should not make arrests now.