It’s not hard compiling a solid list of 10 sad Korean films. The Asian nation is one of the top producers of quality films in the world. Sad Korean films run the gamut from classic Hollywood-style weepies to mind-bending art house successes like and genre-transcending crime films.
- “Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance.” Though part of a trilogy that includes the dark comedy of “Lady Vengeance” and Shakespearean melodrama of “Oldboy,” this is a small, contained, and ultimately very sad film about mistakes. Powerful lead performances and a tragic trajectory make this one of ten sad Korean films.
- “Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter… and Spring.” “Spring” uses the titular seasons to tell the story of man’s life. The man in question is a Buddhist monk who experiences many of life’s common emotional trials and tribulations. “Spring” is sad and affecting.
- “Memories of Murder.” “Memories” is an enormous and tragic story, played out over the course of five years in the provincial town of Hwaseong. It deals with South Korea’s first recorded serial murders, and examines in intimate detail the effects of paranoia, fear, death, loss, and uncertainty on a small community.
- “Windstruck.” Korea’s “Windstruck” is an outlandish romantic comedy that manages to involve the Korean police, Russian mob, and a double case of mistaken identity. We don’t want to spoil too much of what goes on in this endearingly strange film, but suffice it to say, it’s sad and hilarious by equal measure, and one of our ten sad Korean moves.
- “Tae Guk Gi.” An epic about a nation in turmoil, “Tae Guk Gi” tackles the civil war that split Korean in two, and made sworn enemies of countrymen. As is to be expected, the film examines the sweeping tragedy, heroism, and melancholy of such a rift, through the prism of intimate relationships. “Tae Guk Gi” is one of our ten sad Korean movies.
- “The Classic.” “The Classic” is a film that works wonders with a simple idea. The basic premise of the film is that of a mother and daughter’s love stories told simultaneously. Through its examinations of the hardships of growing up and falling in and out of love, “The Classic” is a charming and melancholic film, and one of our ten sad Korean movies.
- “The Host.” “The Host” weaves a large web of emotions, and dares viewers to take it as what it is: a tragicomic family drama with political undertones. Plus there’s a really effing big monster. Despite its weirdness, the drama that plays out at the heart of “The Host” is sad and touching.
- “A Moment to Remember.” South Korea’s “A Moment to Remember” is what we here in the west like to call a five-hankie weepie. A tender examination of Alzheimer's disease, “A Moment to Remember” employs a number of genres only to subvert them with its quiet beauty and delicate broaching of a difficult subject.
- “Romance of Their Own.” “Romance of Their Own” is the sad story of a woman who moves to Seoul after her father dies. A fish out of water, Han-kyung experiences a number of troubles in the city, eventually falling into a conflict between High school students. Though the film is melancholic, it also exhibits a defiant optimism.
- “Bad Guy.” Despite its generic title, “Bad Guy” is unique. Dark, bizarre, and twisted, “Bad Guy” tells the story of woman who is forced into sexual slavery. The movie tells a harrowing, and sad, story that will leave more empathetic viewers in a melancholic funk. Not for the weak-stomached, “Bad Guy” is peppered with moments of quiet sadness, and is one of our ten sad Korean movies.
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