Comfort Women

How to Cite

JO, S. (2017). MOURNING AND THE MOVIE SPIRITS’ HOMECOMING. International Journal of Korean Humanities and Social Sciences, 3, 105–116.


The movie Spirits’ Homecoming connects the past and the present through two Korean “comfort women” and reveals their life, anguish and mourning. Based on Derrida’s concept of mourning, this paper analyzes mourning of the main characters and the movie. Furthermore, it focuses on how Korean viewers reacted through mourning presented in Spirits’ Homecoming. By doing so, this paper criticizes how the film’s vivid representation of “comfort women” reflects patriarchal and nationalist ideologies which position the “comfort women” as the ultimate victims in Korean society.


Brault, Pascale-Anne, and Michael Naas, eds. 2001. Editor’s Introduction. The Work of Mourning. Chicago: UP of Chicago.

Butler, Judith. 2004. Precarious Life: the Powers of Mourning and Violence. London and New York: Verso.

Derrida, Jacques. 1989, Memoires: for Paul De Man. Trans. Cecile Lindsay. New York: Columbia UP.

Derrida, Jacques. 2001. “By Force of Mourning.” The Work of Mourning. Eds. Pascale-Anne Brault and Michael Naas. Chicago: UP of Chicago. 139-164.

Freud, Sigmund. 1957. “Mourning and Melancholia.” On the History of the Psycho-Analytic Movement: Papers on Metapsychology and Other Works. Ed. James Strachey. London: Hogarth Press. 243-58.

Freud, Sigmund. 1957. “On Transience.” On the History of the Psycho-Analytic Movement: Papers on Metapsychology and Other Works. Ed. James Strachey. London: Hogarth Press. 305-307.

Kirkby, John. 2006. “Remembrance of the Future”: Derrida on Mourning.” Social Semiotics 16.3: 461-73.

Soh, C. 2008. Sarah. The Comfort Women. London: UP of Chicago.

김용만. 2016. 「영화<귀향>, 돌아오지 못한 넋을 위로하다」. 『오마이뉴스』. 2016. 2. 25.

왕철. 2012. 「프로이트와 데리다의 애도이론:-“나는 애도한다 따라서 나는 존재한다”」. 『영어영문학』 58.4: 783-807.

우에노 지즈코. 2012. 『위안부를 둘러싼 기억의 정치학』. 이선이 옮김. 서울: 현실문화.

조정래. 2016. 이영광 인터뷰.「 ‘태워지는 처녀들’ 장면, 울며 찍는데 나비 한 마리가 날아왔다”」. 『고발뉴스』. 2016.3.21.

최은주. 2016. 「위안부= ‘소녀’상과 젠더」. 『동아시아문화연구』 66: 243-62.

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