With the international success of Parasite, a lot of attention has been brought to South Korean cinema. Parasite is a visually stunning glimpse into the struggle of everyday life, especially the wealth inequality, in South Korea. It tells the story of the poor Kim family as they ingratiate themselves within the lives of the wealthy Park family in this black comedy thriller film. Parasite has won and been nominated for numerous awards this season and did also win the Best Picture Oscar.
Already known around other Asian countries, South Korean films are breaking barriers with their global appeal. Whether its an emotional slice of life drama or a zombie apocalypse thriller, there are plenty of great South Korean films to choose from. So, if you’re interested in expanding your cinematic viewing horizons, check out the titles below on our digital resources Hoopla or Kanopy.
“A Taxi Driver” is based on a real-life story, about a taxi driver from Seoul and his interactions with his passenger a German journalist as he unintentionally becomes involved in the events of the Gwangju Uprising in 1980.
The Hollywood Reporter wrote, “In unexpected and wonderfully satisfying ways, A Taxi Driver taps into the symbiotic relationship between foreign correspondents and locals, particularly in times of crisis. Though filled with moments of taut suspense and quick action, Jang’s film is also rewardingly unrushed, a quality exemplified by an extended sequence in which the visitors from Seoul share a meal and an evening with Yoo’s Gwangju cabbie and his family. At once sincere, awkward and silly, their respite of calm and laughter amid the terror beautifully underscores the way ordinary lives are caught in the crosshairs of history.”
“The Man from Nowhere” is a 2010 South Korean action thriller film about a mysterious widower who embarks on a rampage as a young girl he befriended is kidnapped. This film is rated 100% with critics and 90% audience score on rotten tomatoes.
“Miracle in Cell No. 7” is an emotionally moving film about a mentally challenged man wrongfully imprisoned for murder as he builds friendships with the hardened criminals in his cell.
“Train to Busan” is a zombie apocalypse thriller that follows a group of passengers travelling to Busan as they group together to fight and survive when a zombie outbreak erupts.
Rotten Tomatoes has a 93% critics rating with a consensus that “Train to Busan delivers a thrillingly unique — and purely entertaining — take on the zombie genre, with fully realized characters and plenty of social commentary to underscore the bursts of skillfully staged action.”