Lost Childhood is a story about underage prostitution, revenge and forgiveness of those involved. The film opens with two high school girls waiting for customers to buy sex at an internet cafe to earn money to travel to Europe. One day, the father of one of the girls accidentally discovered his daughter's shameful act. Frustrated and heartbroken, his father, a former policeman, vows revenge. He tracked down and beat up those who had sex with his daughter, murdered one and caused another to commit suicide. The film ends with a father teaching his daughter to drive in the countryside before turning himself in.
The thorny theme above is delivered quietly and discreetly, turning the bleak story into a compelling film about sin and redemption, conflict and forgiveness. Unlike some previous films of director Kim Ki-duk such as "The Isle" and "Bad Guy", the film minimizes sexual and violent images. Kim Ki-duk is one of the most famous and controversial directors in Korea. His films often win nominations at international film festivals including Cannes and Venice. In the Korean film industry, Kim is considered a "heretic" when always creating extreme reactions from both critics and audiences with controversial topics such as sexual abuse and violence. . When asked about the reason for exploiting the topic of underage prostitution, director Kim said, "Korea has about 600,000 prostitutes, each with a father. It cannot be ruled out that one father bought the other's daughter and they were all accomplices in this crime." He said, everyone makes mistakes, but the problem here is understanding and forgiveness.
Director Kim is also famous as a super frugal filmmaker with a production budget that has never exceeded 900,000 USD/year. “Lost Childhood” was completed in 11 days with a budget of around 400,000 USD but won the Best Director award at the 2004 Berlin Film Festival. His other films such as “The Isle” and “The Isle” Address Unknown” also competed at the Venice Film Festival in 2000 and 2001.