Bong Joon-ho’s latest film centers on the Kim family’s interactions with the wildly wealthy Park family. courtesy CJ Entertainment

Reception of “Parasite” changes popular perception of foreign films

Bong Joon-ho’s film makes history at award shows across the world, reimagining the role of American award shows.

The South Korean film “Parasite” has become an unstoppable force in making movie history as a foreign film. “Parasite” is a satirical thriller suspense film that centers on the Kim family as they slowly infiltrate the Park family home. Actors, directors and cinephiles alike have all come to a consensus that the film is a thought-provoking work of art that demands full attention during and even days after watching the movie.

With the rightfully deserved hype surrounding “Parasite,” it came as no surprise when the film became the first South Korean film and first foreign film to ever win Best Ensemble Cast at the SAG awards. Not only this, but when going to accept the reward, the cast was met with a standing ovation from everyone in the audience, and a beaming smile from the director Bong Joon-ho as he recorded the cast giving their acceptance speech on his iPhone.

“Parasite” isn’t only sweeping competition at the SAG Awards, but also AACTA (Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards), Alliance of Women Film Journalists, Asia Pacific Screen Awards, British Independent Film Awards, Toronto Film Critics Association and countless other programs winning awards for categories like Best Asian Film, Best Screenplay and Best Cinematography. This is also not including the nominations that it has for the Golden Globes and the Academy Awards. “Parasite” has been nominated for six Oscars as well, two of the categories being Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay.

Director and Screenwriter Bong Joon-ho isn’t new to all aspects of the success of “Parasite”. Two of Bong’s prior films, “The Host” and “Snowpiercer” are two of the highest-grossing films of all time in South Korea. He is highly respected in South Korea as a movie genius, so it’s no surprise that Bong is against highly-respected directors in American cinema for the Oscars.

“Parasite” and Bong Joon-ho are up against big Hollywood names for the Oscars such as Quentin Tarantino for “Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood,” Martin Scorsese for “The Irishman,” and Sam Mendes for “1917.” All this considered, it seems like “Parasite” is the obvious winner for its multiple nominations due to its extremely chilling narrative of life in poverty and trying to escape something you are born into, complete with an amazing cast and crew who put their lives into the work.

Regardless of what the outcome for the future award shows will be, “Parasite” will be known for a long time after this. For a movie to be so well done, with a thought-provoking script, this film transcended all barriers that could’ve stopped it from getting to mainstream overseas media. The foreign film was able to reach such a wide audience, and it being the first South Korean movie to ever be nominated for these awards overseas is making history. Bong Joon-ho is solidifying himself and his creation as trailblazers that is opening doors for non-American creators and for the average movie fan to look beyond language barriers.

Post Author: Nora Bethune