Brutal, beautiful South Korean film jolts Venice

‘Pieta,’ a new film from South Korea, is so violent it is hard to watch, but the story of a pitiless loan shark and the mysterious woman who claims to be his mother turns into an absorbing thriller and moving love story rolled into one. Director Kim Ki-duk pulls no punches in his tale of ruthless revenge and redemption, and lead actress Cho Min-soo, whom he describes as his ‘raven-haired Mary,’ is a favorite to take the best actress prize when the festival ends on Saturday.