Lies (film)

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Date: 2000

Region: Asia

Subject: Nudity

Medium: Film Video


Artist: Jang San Woo/Jang Jung Il

Confronting Bodies: Korean and Japanese authorities

Dates of Action: April, 2000

Location: Korea and Japan

Description of Artwork: Lies is a film directed by Jang San Woo, based on the novel, Tell Me a Lie, written by Jang Jung Il. The film is about two main characters, "Y," an 18-year-old virgin, and "J," a 38-year-old sculptor. The two meet and have repetitive sex, often using whips and other techniques associated with S&M. The film is meant to address issues of gender, power and sex.

The Incident: The author of the original novel was imprisoned for several months by South Korean authorities. Jang San Woo's rendition was banned in South Korea, where he was also threatened with prosecution, and Japan.

Results of Incident: After several months Lies was allowed to show in South Korea and it became the fifth largest grossing movie in the nation's history. The film showed in the San Francisco International Film Festival and sold out the Castro theater, which holds 3,800 seats.