The film is a tale of two South Korean families – the wealthy Parks and the poor Kims – mirroring the deepening inequality in Asia’s fourth-largest economy.
The dark comedy “Parasite” made history as the first non-English language movie to win the Oscar for best picture on Sunday, prompting South Korean social media to erupt in celebration.
The film’s message resonated with many South Koreans who identify themselves as “dirt spoons,” those born to low-income families who have all but given up on owning a decent house or climbing the social ladder, as opposed to “gold spoons,” who are from better-off families.
The debate over inequality has exploded onto South Korea’s political scene in recent years amid runaway home prices, translating into a drop in support for President Moon Jae-in, despite being elected on a program of raising taxes the wealthy in the country.
Moon, in his congratulatory message, said, “Parasite” had “moved the hearts of people around the world with a most uniquely Korean story.”
But the film’s message is a sharp critique of South Korea’s modern society, and director Bong Joon-ho turned to many familiar scenes around Seoul to highlight the divide between the city’s haves and have-nots.
Across South Korea, the divide is visible as some of the old neighborhoods of crumbling brick slums contrast with the gleaming high-life of Seoul’s more expensive spots.
The film uses many of those visual cues to illustrate the competition going on in society, and the sometimes “parasitic” relationships between the rich and poor […]