Gina Kim is a pétroleuse, a feminist who is fearless. "I love to create controversy," she says. But behind such pretensions we believe she conceals an extreme sensitivity. The proof is in the images. The South Korean filmmaker explores the feminine desire in his beautiful film, Never Forever awarded by the Jury Prize at the last American Film Festival in Deauville.
That obscure object of desire is born where it is least expected. Sophie (Vera Farmiga) and Andew (David McInnis), her Korean husband, form a chic New York couple. The only shadow on their happiness is that they are unable to have a child. Vera suffers as she sees her husband sink into depression because of their lack of children. She makes the decision to have sex with an illegal immigrant Korean (Ha Jung-woo) who she will pay for his services until Their rendezvous succeeds, the sex is cold, clinical, and mechanical. But slowly, there is a gradual shift towards pleasure. Discovery of the self and true love. At first, for Sophie, she behaves like she is making a sacrifice. She wants to save her marriage. Though in bed with a stranger in order to have a child, she images she could have no pleasure. "I am subversive in my own way, by denying, by taking apart the old model of Freudian female desire. With Vera, I created a characters who blurs the boundaries between the two stereotypes associated with women, that of the mother and the whore. Without passing judgment but just posing questions."
The life of Gina Kim is punctuated by her comings and goings between Korea and the United States. "At 23 I left for California to study film. I returned to Seoul in order to produce two feature length films,Gina Kim's Video Diary and Invisible Light. After seeing my films, Harvard University asked me in 2004 to teach Korean cinema to its' students.”
It was during one of her classes that she had the idea for Never Forever, an American-Korean co-produation, Lee Chang-dong, the filmmaker behind Secret Sunshine, was one of her producers. "I found the inspiration in re-watching the great classics of 1961 like the erotic melodrama Housemaid, by Kim Ki-young, another story of adultery, and also My Mother and her Guest by Shin Sang-ok, about a widow torn between love and duty. What touched me about these films was the struggle with the heroines to satisfy their desires." Her next American film will be in the form of a psychodrama which will once again explore "the mysteries of women."
—Translated from French, Emmanuele Frois (October 29, 2007)