KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 12): South Korean film director Kim Ki-duk (pictured) has passed away owing to a Covid-19 infection in Latvia yesterday, say reports.

According to an AFP report, Dita Rietuma, head of the National Film Centre of Latvia, said Kim, 59, was on a private visit to Latvia and not for any filming.

“It is known from his contact persons that he died in a hospital in Riga around 1.30am earlier today,” Rietuma told AFP.

Local media revealed that the director was “planning to buy a property and apply for residence in the Baltic eurozone state”, reported the news wire.

Kim became globally famous as an “arthouse filmmaker” with works such as Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter…and Spring, 3-Iron, Samaria, and Pietà. He is known to have directed more than 20 films.

According to xenews.net, he is the only Korean director to have received awards from international film festivals in Cannes, Venice, and Berlin.

In his home country, he is called ‘Legend of Korean cinema’ but he also courted controversy as his films are known for extreme violence, at times depicting brutal rapes.

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