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Love Your Enemies: Revenge and Forgiveness in Films by Park Chan-wook

From: Korean Studies
Volume 33, 2009
pp. 29-51 | 10.1353/ks.0.0026

Abstract

Abstract:

This article discusses the films that make up Park Chan-wook's "Revenge Trilogy": Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (2002), Oldboy (2003), and Lady Vengeance (2005). It places particular emphasis on the last of the three in order to show how the logic of revenge is pushed to its breaking point. While getting even may be, as Park asserts, "the most foolish thing in the world to do," the article argues that another possibility is opened up altogether. Forcing audiences to confront the logic of revenge, the article argues that the "foolishness" of retributive justice gives way to the possibility of unconditional forgiveness.