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This is a movie I watched probably seven or eight years ago, and it looked pretty new back then. Early 2000's I'd say. Here's what I remember:

  • It was in Chinese or Korean
  • Also set in either a near-future dystopian China or Korea
  • The protagonist was a young woman
  • She is convicted of something and sent to prison. I'm pretty sure she was innocent.
  • While in prison she kills another inmate by rubbing butter on the floor near the pool
  • When she gets out she builds a special gun that she designed using multiple over-lapping sheets of paper (the blueprint was displayed when all the sheets were held to a light)
  • The gun looked like a steampunk pistol but fired like a shotgun. I think it was only used once and it missed.
  • Movie ends with the torture of the woman's sex offender. There were lots of other people there as well who were or knew the offender's other victims and wanted revenge.

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Are you remembering Lady Vengeance?

Lady Vengeance DVD cover

Lady Vengeance (sometimes called Sympathy for Lady Vengeance, original title 친절한 금자씨) is a Korean film from 2005, directed by Park Chan-wook.

Overview from Wikipedia:

The film is the third and final installment in Park's Vengeance Trilogy, following Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (2002) and Oldboy (2003). It stars Lee Young-ae as Lee Geum-ja, a woman released from prison after serving the sentence for a murder she did not commit. The film tells her story of revenge against the real murderer.

Here's how it matches up with your memories...

  • It was in Chinese or Korean Also set in either a near-future dystopian China or Korea The protagonist was a young woman She is convicted of something and sent to prison. I'm pretty sure she was innocent.

Lady Vengeance is a Korean film and is mostly in Korean. (The protagonist's daughter speaks only English, so there are a few scenes where Korean is translated to English and vice-versa.)

The movie opens with the protagonist being released from prison after serving 13 years. It is later revealed she had confessed to a crime she did not actually commit.

  • While in prison she kills another inmate by rubbing butter on the floor near the pool

There is a bath scene in which the protagonist knocks out a bully (who has just sexually assaulted another inmate) by rubbing a yellow cake of soap on the tile floor near the door, causing the bully to slip and fall: Lady Vengeance bathroom knockout Lady Vengeance bathroom soap

  • When she gets out she builds a special gun that she designed using multiple over-lapping sheets of paper (the blueprint was displayed when all the sheets were held to a light)

Plans for the weapon are drawn across the backs of many thin bi-folded pages of a book, which are assembled into the final diagram: Lady Vengeance pistol pages Lady Vengeance pistol diagram

  • The gun looked like a steampunk pistol but fired like a shotgun. I think it was only used once and it missed.

The weapon does have a baroque appearance and is double-barreled with individual triggers, similar to some shotguns. It is discharged more than once, though, usually at close range. Lady Vengeance pistol closeup

  • Movie ends with the torture of the woman's sex offender. There were lots of other people there as well who were or knew the offender's other victims and wanted revenge.

The final scenes are a bit too graphic to comfortably include images here. But, relevant section from Wikipedia's synopsis:

Sickened that four more children died because Geum-ja did not turn in the real killer 13 years ago, Geum-ja and the original case detective contact the parents and relatives of the missing children to the school. After watching each tape, the group decides to murder Mr. Baek together. They take turns beating, mutilating and torturing him until he is dead, then take a group photo, ensuring that none of them can turn in the others without implicating themselves. They then bury the corpse outside.

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  • If so, it's only tangentially SF&F with a scene near the end where Guem-ja sees a "ghost" of a murdered child changing to his adult age, which might have just been an artistic way of showing that she's come to grips with what she was part of.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Feb 14, 2023 at 0:28

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