Thirst

by director/screenwriter Park Chan-wook

I didn’t set out to make a vampire film. Having grown up in a Catholic family, I had a feeling that there would come a day when I would make a film with a priest as the main character. But what kind of priest would he be? What kind of things would happen to him?

One day, while watching old vampire films, a thought came to my mind. What would happen if vampire’s blood enters into the body of someone whose vocation has him living close to the cross? The thought developed like this: Why are priests only portrayed as the vampire hunters? What’s to say priests can’t be vampires?

Then I read the novel Thérèse Raquin by Émile Zola. It is a story in which a man falls in love with a friend’s wife, and together, they murder the friend. How hard-boiled it was! So much so that it made me think, if I ever became a novelist it would be exactly the novel that I would want to write. But that novel had already been written by Zola, so what should I do? Turn it into a film…

That’s how the story of Thirst came into being. A priest most noble and pious, because of his very faith, volunteers for a human experiment to develop a new medicine. As might be expected, he contracts a dangerous disease. He needs a blood transfusion. But the blood that gets transfused must have been vampire’s blood. Because he so loved mankind, he unwittingly ended up turning into an entity that cannot but take and drink the blood of others. Then he gets invited to a friend’s house. Of course, it’s a dinner invitation, since the priest can no longer traipse around during the daytime. Of course, at that house awaits a beautiful woman. And again of course, she is the friend’s wife…

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