The Spectrum of Han: Cultural Psychology in Korean National Cinema

Xiaotian Gao, Hamedi Mohd Adnan, Changsong Wang


Over the past three decades, Korean cinema has garnered increasing acclaim both domestically and globally and solidified its unique standing in the realm of filmmaking. This article delves into the intricacies of han, a cultural psychological Korean element that has significantly influenced Korean cinema. Han encompasses a distinct collective cultural psychology characterized by lingering resentment, pain, sadness, and anger. The persistent thematic exploration of han and societal darkness has played a pivotal role in shaping the trajectory of Korean national cinema. Korean national cinema is distinguished by its foundational core of collective trauma, exposing societal darkness, and expressing han in response to societal darkness. This article summarizes the significant implications of Korean national cinema’s depiction of societal darkness from the perspectives of promoting societal progress and safeguarding the Korean domestic film market. The analysis further examines how Korean national cinema strategically employs plot, theme, and ending to construct a logical progression that articulates and intensifies han towards societal darkness. Ultimately, this paper advocates for the vigilance of Korean national cinema against cultural discounts in its proactive overseas promotion.

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Studies in Media and Communication      ISSN 2325-8071 (Print)   ISSN 2325-808X (Online)

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