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Korean Actress Hopes for Happier Roles

2004/02/11 | 596 views | Permalink | Source

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BERLIN - After her screen debut as a sexually exploited schoolgirl in South Korean director Kim Ki-duk's "Samaria", Kwak Ji-min said she's hoping for a less tragic second role.
"I want a film that's light and with a happy ending", the 19-year-old actress told reporters Tuesday after the movie's premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival.
"Samaria" is one of 23 films competing for the festival's top prize - the Golden Bear. The festival ends Sunday.
In "Samaria" (Samaritan Girl), Ji-Min plays Yeo-jin, a kind of benevolent pimp to her best friend, whose earnings are supposed to fund the pair's trip to Europe.
Yeo-jin is charged with managing the money and keeping a lookout for police patrolling for underage prostitutes. After she fails in the latter responsibility, her friend - Jae-young, played by Han Yeo-reum - dies trying to escape authorities.
Yeo-jin falls into despair and, as a form of repentance, decides to have sex with all the clients in Jae-young's address book and return the money they had paid her.
Ki-duk cast two unknown students to play the emotionally demanding roles and said his decision paid off on the screen.
"These feelings are genuine", Ki-duk said of his leading lady. "I think it was a great stroke of good luck that I came across her".

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