Amen – Movie – Review

Amen - Kim Ye-na

The epitome of boredom or an art that is hard to understand?!


Amen is a 2011 South Korean drama film written and directed by Kim Ki-duk, starring Kim Ye-na. Shot in Europe, it follows a Korean girl on a mysterious journey. The film premiered in competition at the 2011 San Sebastián International Film Festival.

Native and/or alternate titles: 아멘
Year: 2011
Country: South Korea
Genre: Art, Drama
Director: Kim Ki-duk
Writer: Kim Ki-duk
Cast: Kim Ye-na, Kim Ki-duk


Due to the hectic life, I usually prefer to write reviews about the films that I like. Mostly I would go with the flow. I do not mind making some extra time to write about something that I loved or something that deserves more attention but mostly, I avoid giving time to write about a bad film. However, there are exceptions for that. I also give extra time to films that nearly made me mad…frustrated…annoyed…blah blah blah. ‘Amen’ is one of those films.

One of the reasons I picked ‘Amen’ is because it is directed by Kim Ki-duk, one of my favourite directors. His films are weird, surreal and crazy but I like them. Before ‘Amen’ I had liked almost all of his films. ‘Bad Guy’ was a bizarre experience for me, but not as bizarre as ‘Amen’. ‘Bad Guy’ was tolerable at points, ‘Amen’ fails to be tolerable even for a two consecutive minute!

Amen - Kim Ye-na
Amen – Kim Ye-na

I may not be a sucker for art films but believe me when I say that I enjoy and admire art films. Sounds, visuals, metaphors, characters, story. I enjoy these things. If films are heavily emphasizing the story using metaphors like ‘Amen’, sometimes I fail to understand some of them and later find various sources to satisfy my curiosity about the metaphors and film. However, ‘Amen’ is different case…there was nothing that I found interesting. At first, the story looked interesting. A Korean girl trying to find her boyfriend in France.

A girl trying to find a man & just walks around the city then goes to another city and trying to find a man, walks more aimlessly, sleeps somewhere and again the cycle repeats. During her journey, something happens to her because of a masked man (played by Kim Ki-duk himself). The Director explains that masked character through the movie.

I have read about the metaphors and I know that I must be missing some meaning about everything happening in the film. After reading about the film a bit more and researching the meaning and motive behind the movie, I have tried to re-watch it but it was the same result. I could not handle it. Maybe I do not understand anything. Maybe this film is not for me. Or maybe I am just stupid. But this movie definitely did not make sense to me.

Kim Ki-duk - Mask - Amen
Kim Ki-duk as the masked man

I have seen quite a few films made with handheld cameras. Here the handheld camerawork gives the film a documentary vibe but at the same time, it is extremely irritating. The film is made by the crew of only two people; one is the actress and another one is the director himself. Everything from the camerawork to the editing is done by Mr Kim and the filming of the masked man is done by the actress.

Kim Ki-duk’s ‘3-Iron’ is one of my favourite movies but now Mr Kim has registered his ‘Amen’ in the list of my worst movies ever! Now, everything time the name ‘Kim Ki-duk’ comes up I can only think of ‘Amen’ being one of the worst films ever.

Would I recommend this film? Definitely not. Would I stop you from watching this? No. This film is NOT for everyone. Definitely not for me. It will appeal only a small portion of people. I am still lost in all the symbolism and metaphors. But maybe you can explain it to me if you are daring enough to risk watching this movie…so do let me know.

  • Story: 6
  • Acting: 6
  • Music: 4
  • Overall: 3

Have you seen this movie? If yes, what do you think about this movie? Comment below! If not, does it sound interesting to you?

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About Mit

A proud introvert with a love for the big and small screen world. Have an obsession with the world of Asian Cinema. Welcome inside my Asian plagued mind.

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