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Asura: City of Madness

Kim Sung-su
South Korea  2016 / 136’
Free Fire
Bartosz Czartoryski


Blue Dragon Awards 2016 – Popular Star; BCFA 2016 – Best Actor; Korean Association of Film Critics Awards 2016 – Ten Best Films of the Year

Kim Sung-su

Born in 1961 in Seoul, he studied filmmaking at Dongguk University and worked as an assistant director and co-screenwriter to leading Korean New Wave director Park Kwang-su on the films Black Republic (1990) and Berlin Report (1991). After contributing to the screenplays of the critically acclaimed The Blue In You (1992) and Out To the World (1993), Kim made his feature directorial debut with Run Away (1995). In his early career, Kim Sung-woo drew particular notice for turning the popular actor Jung Woo-sung into a youth icon in the hit films Beat (1997) and City Of The Rising Sun (1999), both of which featured a distinctive new visual style for Korean cinema. His next feature Musa: The Warrior (2001), a historical epic shot in China, was particularly groundbreaking for its ambition, scale and breathtaking cinematography. Two years later, he contributed to the wave of comedies sweeping the industry by storm with the charismatic Please Teach Me English (2003), starring Lee Na-young and Jang Hyuk. Kimwas also quick to recognize the potential for collaboration between China and South Korea. Co-establishing the production company NaBi Pictures in 2002, he produced the China-shot film The Restless in 2006 as well as the Chinese film My Ex-Wife's Wedding (2009). Throughout this decade he also kept busy directing a range of short films, commercials, music videos, and the Korean Pavilion's main theme show at the 2010 Shanghai Expo. In 2013, he returned to Korean big-budget filmmaking with Flu, a film about a dangerous pandemic that throws the Seoul region into chaos. With the satiric and hard-hitting Asura, he confirms his status as a director with a gift for capturing the zeitgeist of Korean cinema, as well as Korean society at large. 

Selected filmography

1995 Run Away

1997 Beat / Biteu

2001 Wojownik Musa / Musa / The Warrior

2003 Yeongeo wanjeonjeongbok / Please Teach Me English

2013 Gamgi / A Gripe

Cast & Crew

director Kim Sung-su
screenplay Kim Sung-su
cinematography Lee Mo-gae
editing Kim Jae-Bum, Kim Sang-beom
music Lee Jae-jim
cast Jung Woo-sung, Hwang Jung-min, Ju Ji-hun
producer Han Jae-Duk, Hyun Kang, Kim Jeong-Min
production Sanai Pictures
sales CJ entertainment
language Korean
colouration colour