Two Lenses on the Korean Ethos: Key Cultural Concepts and Their Appearance in Cinema
A war-torn country only 60 years ago, South Korea has since achieved prodigious growth and global integration, experiencing rapid industrialization and seeing its cultural exports gain international popularity. Because of this rapid transformation, an investigation of the Korean ethos--the shared self-concept woven through the divergent social contexts of both South and North Korea--is challenging. This book provides an introduction to the Korean ethos, detailing its representation in key cultural words and in film. Part I explores definitive concepts (terms) generally regarded as difficult to translate, such as han (regret), jeong (feeling) and deok (virtue), and how they are expressed in Korean cinema. Part II analyzes film narratives based on these concepts via close readings of 13 films, including three from North Korea.