Yoon Jong-bin's latest film, "The Spy Gone North," was premiered at the annual Cannes Film Festival on Friday which runs until this week.
The thriller starring Hwang Jung-min, Lee Sung-min and Ju Ji-hoon was invited to the Midnight Screenings section of the festival, which is usually devoted to an action-heavy, emotionally charged genre such as horror or disaster films.
Set during a 1997 political scandal in the vortex of turbulent Korean history, the espionage thriller treads a fine line between fact and fiction.
The reception of the film was generally mixed, with some viewers finding it interesting, others finding it difficult.
Non-Korean viewers in particular may struggle to grasp the early scenes of the film, in which the inner conflicts of the main characters and complicated inter-Korean relations are explained.
"I wanted to make a nail-biting thriller that does not necessarily require jam-packed violent fight scenes," Yoon said.
The film is set to hit local theaters in Korea this summer.
From left, Hwang Jung-min, Yoon Jong-bin, Lee Sung-min and Ju Ji-hoon pose on the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival in France on Friday. /AFP-Yonhap