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Film / The Net (2016)

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The Net is a a South Korean drama directed by Kim Ki-duk. Contains much dark comedy.

A North Korean fisherman accidently crosses the border with South Korea. He is captured and suspected of being a spy, then denied the right to return home. Because no one in their right mind would want that, and everyone knows that North Koreans are brainwashed anyway. Even though he happens to have a wife and a son there.


This film provides examples of:

  • Commie Land: Part of the action is set in North Korea. This film is much a criticism of South Korea, but doesn't show North Korea positively.
  • Condescending Compassion: Most of the South Koreans characters are very patronizing toward the protagonist.
  • Determinator: The protagonist will go home, no matter how hard South Koreans attempt to keep him.
  • Defector from Commie Land: Central idea to this film, seems to be a deconstruction.
  • Kafka Komedy: However remember this film isn't meant to be funny. The protagonist is strong, loyal and kind (except for the times he snaps after being tortured), if somewhat naive, but everything goes bad for him.
  • The Mole: The protagonist is suspected of being one. Then things are made complicated due to actual DPRK spies.
  • Mother Russia Makes You Strong: Mother DPRK in this case.
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  • Not So Different: Many scenes mirror things that also happened on the other side of the border. Contributes to the dark comedy.
  • Witch Hunt: One of the national security agents really wants the protagonist to be a spy.


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