Director: Kim Ki-Duk
Stars: Min-soo Jo, Eunkin Kang, Jae-rok Kim, Jeong-jin Lee
Release Date: May 17

Alongside the Cannes Film Festival and Toronto International Film Festival, the Venice Film Festival—held every year from late August through early September—is one of cinema's most prestigious showcases of highbrow movies from all over the world. Thus, if a film wins Venice's coveted Golden Lion award, you should start paying attention to it. Though, to be fair, Korean director Kim Ki-Duk's Pieta doesn't need that accompanying honor to make us care about it—it sounds like a knockout all on its own.

A story of crime, punishment, and revenge, Pieta follows a ruthless loan shark who gets money back from shaky borrowers with extreme, fist-to-flesh force, and whose unpleasant life gets upended when an older woman shows up and claims to be his long-lost mother. Considering Korean cinema's penchant for unflinching darkness, don't expect the reunion to be all hugs and kisses.