Parasite is a must see film this year. It was writtened and directed by Bong Joon-ho. Among its many awards this season, Parasite won four Oscars including Best Picture, Best Director, International Feature Film, and Best Orgininal Screenplay. Parasite was more than deserving of every accolade it received, and is my number one recommendation for an insightful film to watch. Bong Joon-ho explores wealth disparity in South Korea through a social satire. The plot begins as the Kim family infiltrates the home of the Park family as employees. As the film progresses, the plot line only gets more complex as the cast plays out an upstairs-downstairs family dynamic.
The movie is set in South Korea in two separate locations. The juxtaposition between the urban basement apartment of the Kim family and the suburban mansion of the Park family parallels the relationship between the two families in the movie. In one particular scene, the Kim family comes home exhausted to find their half-basement apartment flooded with sewage water. In direct opposition, the Park family is inconvenienced by the rain ruining his camping trip. This moment marks a pivotal recognition of social divide for the Kim family. As the viewer, we are left to decide who is the real “parasite” in the struggle of class aspirationalism. In a larger sense, their families represent a dangerous gap in classes. This injustice is often overlooked by those who ignore the realities of poverty.
Although it is completely in Korean, it has widley circulated Western audiences. In the context of this class, I think it is important to mention that most Americans, myself included, do not watch films in other languages often. We are missing out on so much cultural awareness and insight by only limiting ourselves to movies that fit our Western agenda. This is why I wanted to highlight Parasite as a film that really opened my eyes to a gap in my education as well as excellent commentary on wealth disparity, and recommend this film as material for this course in the future.