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Coexisting With Others as Homo Symbiøus: From the Interracial Encounters in The Tiger Factory and Bandhobi

Authors
Kim, Jiyun
Issue Date
Apr-2021
Publisher
문학과영상학회
Citation
문학과 영상, v.22, no.1, pp.367 - 400
Journal Title
문학과 영상
Volume
22
Number
1
Start Page
367
End Page
400
URI
https://yscholarhub.yonsei.ac.kr/handle/2021.sw.yonsei/5336
ISSN
1229-9847
Abstract
This paper creates a Bandungist comparison between The Tiger Factory (2010), a Malay independent film by Woo Ming Jin, and Bandhobi (2009), a Korean counterpart by Shin Dong-il. Although the two movies both present relationships between Southeast Asian males who are illegal migrants and East Asian females who are also socially marginalized, they arrive at contrasting endings: one finishes with betrayal, while the other finds genuine solidarity. Thus, focusing on how the characters in each film formulate, break, and perhaps re-connect the bonds with one another, arriving at different conclusions, this paper seeks an ethical direction regarding inter-subjective communion. In this process, most characters in The Tiger Factory are revealed as primarily depicting an otherizing tendency of Lacanian phallic jouissance, which reduces the other as a mere means and thus violates the imperative of Kantian personalism. On the contrary, Bandhobi’s main protagonists, Karim and Min-seo, discover themselves within each other, thereby replacing alterity with Gayatri Spivak’s planetarity. Therefore, the paper concludes that Karim, Min-seo, and the sole personalist character in the former movie, Kang, are Homo Symbiøus─human beings who coexist with others based on the hybrid of Kant’s and Spivak’s ethics─borrowing the mathematical concept of the empty set (ø).
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