"Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance" is Released
Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance is a 2002 South Korean film directed by Park Chan-wook which follows the character Ryu trying to earn enough money for his sister's kidney transplant and the path of vengeance that follows.
It is the first part of The Vengeance Trilogy and is succeeded by Oldboy (2003) and Sympathy for Lady Vengeance (2005). The original Korean title means "Vengeance is Mine" or "Revenge is Mine".
But what elevates Sympathy above mere sensationalism—and the misanthropic meting out of punishment in its successor Oldboy—is an acute social conscience. No director diagnoses the dolorous underbelly of contemporary Korea as perceptively as Park, who examines a nation reeling from economic free fall: unemployed masses, unmoved (and even bemused) employers, Seoul blanketed in shantytowns of which the upper class is blissfully unaware, and hospitals treating only those who can pay.