IMDb > Breath (2007)
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Breath (2007) More at IMDbPro »Soom (original title)


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7.0/10   3,757 votes »
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Release Date:
29 April 2007 (South Korea) See more »
Love Can Take Your Breath Away
A love story involving a convicted prisoner who "slowly falls for a woman who decorates his prison cell". | Add synopsis »
1 win & 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
Ki-duk goes to prison See more (12 total) »



Chen Chang ... Jang Jin
In-Hyeong Gang ... Young Cellmate

Jung-woo Ha ... Husband

Ki-duk Kim
Ji-a Park ... Yeon

Directed by
Ki-duk Kim 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Ki-duk Kim 

Produced by
Myong-chul Song .... producer
Youngjoo Suh .... associate producer
Cinematography by
Jong-moo Sung 
Film Editing by
Su-Ahn Wong 
Art Direction by
In-Jun Hwang 

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Soom" - South Korea (original title)
See more »
84 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

The license plate number of the couple's car is 5795. Jang Jin's prison number is 5796.See more »


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10 out of 14 people found the following review useful.
Ki-duk goes to prison, 17 October 2008
Author: Onderhond from

It's no secret that I have little affection with Korean cinema. It's just not my cup of tea. But among the rubble of popular Korean cinema there's a true cineast pumping out brilliant cinema at a dazzling rate. Kim Ki-duk is a regular art-house favorite and rightfully so. This weekend I had the pleasure of watching his latest effort on the big screen. screen cap from breath

So far, I've seen all of Ki-duk's films. Over the years he's made little changes to his success formula, only visually his films have become a lot more mature. Breath continues this tradition, ignoring the little misstep of his previous film Shi Gan. Ki-duk reaches back to his "quiet cinema" and with success.

Breath has it all. Troubled characters, little dialog, rough around the edges and strange happenings. But underneath that barren surface lies a more subtle, warm interior. Not exactly new, but it's the first time Ki-duk plays with this emotion so openly and the change of heart is notable throughout the film.

At its core, Breath tells the story of four broken characters. No director that is more able to create a setup where unlikeable characters can win the sympathy of an audience. Because not a single one of the characters in Breath is free from sin. The prisoner killed his wife and kid, his fellow prisoner hurts him because he can't express his love, the mother cheats on her husband with the prisoner and the husband mistreats his own wife and has a flirt on the side. And thus starts a story of a love between four people.

Ki-duk brings his characters alive with rather unknown actor, though they are really some of the best modern Asian cinema has to offer. Especially Chen Chang bring a lot to this film, adding yet another strong film to his impressive list of acting jobs. Chang's wife is also very strong in her role, hardly speaking but playing her emotions instead of telling them. Class-A stuff. screen cap from breath

Visually, Ki-duk is still improving with each film. While his earlier films were too unfinished to be considered visually impressive, his newer work has this delicate touch that enters every shot. Ki-duk's timing is also improving, and his eye for interesting compositions is still functioning rather well. The film is never absolutely stunning but the quiet, subtle images bear well with the rest. He matches his visuals with a soundtrack that enhances this delicate feeling.

As an interesting surprise, Ki-duk inserts several musical intermezzos. He also revives his seasonal structure and couples a song to each season. The happy mood coming from those scenes is in sharp contrast with the actual feelings of the characters. A nice addition that reliefs, but at the same time hurts just as much.

I guess Breath is a little more playful than his previous films overall. There's of course Ki-duk himself playing director behind his screen in prison. It's an interesting extra layer that made me smile when I noticed it. And it leads to a strong scene where he cuts from the love scene in prison to the father and kid playing outside in the snow. I also liked the "acted" musical intermezzos, which add a second level of acting. Beautiful scenes with very contrasting feelings.

Breath is a strong entry in Ki-duk's ever growing list of films, positioning itself among his best work. While progress between his films is slow and his work hardly brings anything new to the table, his unique position in the world of cinema makes this of little importance. He keeps improving himself and Breath illustrates this well. Awesome film, not really my preferred kind of cinema and because of that all the better for making me love this film and its characters. 4.5*/5.0*

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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Breath (2007)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Autumn song bh4698
Music/songs in the film? [beach decoration scene] ttrree_ttrree
Gay cell-mate? cola_bean007
Any word on a DVD yet? codyclarke
what is the classical piece the husband plays on his keyboard? gay_eskimo
sex or nudity lionbello
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