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Reconfiguring Confucianism and Filial Piety in Contemporary Korean Cinema: Mother–Son Bonding in Mother and The Peter Pan Formula

  • Jason Ka-hang Ho
Chapter

Abstract

This essay explores alternative filmic representations contemporary Korean cinema offers to revisit the notion of filial piety as a way to review multifaceted mother–son relationships. Familial and parental bonding is prominent in East Asian films, culture, and ideology, yet its indispensability is also debatable under globalization and current cinematic rejuvenations in South Korea. This essay reveals the struggles between embracing and abandoning long-established values, and examines how contemporary Korean cinema attempts to embody radically different manifestations of mother–son bonding. By investigating Bong Joon-ho’s Mother (2009) and Cho Chang-ho’s The Peter Pan Formula (2006), we see how Confucianism as a common root in Korean ideology is being reconfigured via the cinematic screen. This essay observes how and why mother–son relationships turn from Confucianist to subversive and seductive, and looks into the paths on which traditions and virtues of filial piety are walked through and provocatively rethought.

Keywords

New Korean Cinema Filial piety Confucianism Koreanness 

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Filmography

  1. Mother (Madeo). Directed by Bong Joon-ho. 2009.Google Scholar
  2. The Peter Pan Formula (Peter Pan-ui gongsik). Directed by Cho Chang-ho. 2005.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jason Ka-hang Ho
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Hong KongPokfulamHong Kong

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