Parasite, directed by Bong Joon Ho, took home Best Picture at the Oscars Feb. 9 to create what will surely go down as an iconic moment in cinematic history.
Bong Joon Ho playing with two of his four Academy Awards.
The Oscars have come under fire in recent years for their lack of attempts at including diverse films as award winners, as well as nominees. Year after year we see consistent complaints of Academy members continually keeping the awards show dominated by white males. Looking at Best Director as an example, there have only ever been 5 female nominees, and one female winner (Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker). There have only ever been 6 black nominees for Best Director, none of who have won.
Last year’s Oscars took fire over The Green Book (directed by Peter Farrelly) beating out BlacKkKlansman (directed by Spike Lee) for Best Picture. The Green Book was criticized for the way it decided to inaccurately portrayed the relationship between its main characters, whereas BlacKkKlansman mixed together real events to comment not only on the time it was based on, but on modern racial tensions as well. This angered viewers, and further fueled their fire against the Academy.
This year, the Academy did something that most viewers agreed was a step in the right direction.
Parasite became the first foreign-language film to win Best Picture at the Oscars. A film that, whether in English or Korean, was deserving of Best Picture for its masterful way of walking through the dynamics of class, discrimination, and wealth.
Each nominee had its own reasons for potentially deserving the award, but a film that received critical acclaim and success domestically in the U.S. that isn’t even in English, deserves praise. As the director, Bong Joon Ho said, “Once you overcome the one-inch tall barrier of subtitles, you will be introduced to so many more amazing films.”
Bong Joon Ho won four awards that night: Best Picture, Best Director, Best International Feature Film, and Best Original Screenplay. Needless to say, this was a resounding victory not only for Bong Joon Ho, but for cinema as a whole.