The Way They Are

Woongjin Thinkbig Co./Korea,2010. English synopsis and partial.

A criminal psychologist LEE Seon-gyong is surprised when she hears that the infamous serial killer LEE Byeong-do has requested to see her. Simultaneously, her husband  has brought in his daughter Hayeong from his ex-wife for help. As hard as she tries to build trust in counseling the female serial killer , Seongyeong puts the same effort to get closer to her step-daughter who soon begins to show signs of dangerous cruelty. It confuses her to find a resemblance between her step daughter and her patient , but it only gets worse as she learns more about what makes each of them tick. Is a killer born or made? Home is the fundamental place where a child learns  lessons of morality and character or does it matter? The author illustrates the process of psychological contamination in which the innocence of a child is corrupted by the selfishness and ignorance of adults. The writers' voice is  sometimes calm, sometimes sad. She describes the serial killer's mother and her step-daughter's birth parents as unqualified to raise a rational child. Have they created social monsters out of their children? Or were they born that way? A bitter warning about domestic violence and its never-ending cycle written with such poise and restraint that the reader is left all the more speechless in the end.