Veteran Hollywood actor Harvey Keitel has a message for politicians the whole world over. Make a film and learn more about life.

“That way they’d understand each other better, and they’d understand the world,” said the straight-shooting 76-year-old on Friday, who has brought his latest film “Youth” to the 20th Busan International Film Festival.

Keitel is famed for the hardmen he has played in the likes of the Quentin Tarantino-directed “Reservoir Dogs” (1992) and “Pulp Fiction” (1994) and in Jane Campion’s Oscar-winning “The Piano” (1993). The actor shows his lighter side in the comedy “Youth”, which is directed by the Oscar-winning Italian Paolo Sorrentino (“The Great Beauty”). The movie sees Keitel playing an ageing film director, who ruminates on life’s various missed opportunities with his best friend and retired orchestra conductor, played by Michael Caine. Keitel showed he has a softer side by saying he was dismayed by what he was seeing on television and in the newspapers.

“We’ve all seen the picture and it seems all these lives are being cut short,” said Keitel. The American said he believed it all came down to people “misunderstanding each other”. It was something that could be remedied if more personal stories were shared, he said. “It’s the only way I know that people can become aware of each other and understand that our desires - from whatever culture we come from - are very much the same,” said Keitel. “Experience is a pathway to awareness. The thought is that this exchange of experience might lead us all somewhere in life.” BIFF continues until October 10.