In The Spotlight: “Parasite” by Bong Joon Ho

The Must See Movie this Awards Season

If you haven’t already heard of Bong Joon Ho or his film, Parasite (2019), you’re probably living under a rock. We’ve all waited so long for a film with so much diversity to hit mainstream cinema/awards season – and now we’ve finally got a major contender.

South Korean director Bong Joon Ho’s Parasite is a dark comedy/thriller/drama on class discrimination, greed, and social inequality. He compares two families, the Park family (extremely rich) and the Kim Family (extremely poor – but rich in street smarts) and creates multiple relationships between the families which ultimately result in… death. The Park family is “so comfortable that they can’t really imagine anyone is struggling”, while the poor Kim Family scrape to make ends meet – but definitely aren’t saints either.

Parasite is known for meshing together so many genres and taking the best parts of each – from horror, to comedy, to romance, to thriller, to satire. It’s only part of the reason why the film has gotten so many nominations and attention this awards season.

At the 77th Golden Globes this year, Parasite was nominated for Director of a Motion Picture, Screenplay of a Motion Picture, as well as Foreign Language Film. It was the first Korean film nominated for a Golden Globe. Bong took home Foreign Language Film along with a groundbreaking speech. “Once you overcome the 1-inch-tall barrier of subtitles, you will be introduced to so many more amazing films. Just being nominated along with fellow amazing international filmmakers was a huge honour. I think we only use one language: the cinema”. The speech went viral on social media, suggesting that the majority of the crowd must begin to learn how to read subtitles/read in general.

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The awards don’t stop there. At the 2020 Screen Actors Guild Awards, Parasite won film ensemble, thus becoming the first foreign language film to win the award. It’s the second foreign language film to be nominated in the category since 1998’s “Life Is Beautiful”. The cast is the second Asian cast, after “Slumdog Millionaire” (2008), and the first East Asian cast to score the award.

With six Oscar nominations (Best Picture, Best Director, Best Foreign Language Film, Best Original Screenplay, Best Production Design, and Best Film Editing), we have our fingers crossed. Maybe we’ll finally get the recognition for diversity with Bong Joon Ho’s cinematic masterpiece. Tune in to watch the 2020 Oscars on February 9th – we can’t wait!