SEOUL: South Korean social media erupted in celebration after the dark comedy Parasite became the first non-English language movie to win the Best Picture award, already having netted three other Oscars in a historic first for the country.
Director Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite vaulted over what he once called the “one-inch tall barrier of subtitles” to capture international attention like no previous South Korean movie.
Bong’s win for Best Original Screenplay was the first Oscar for South Korea’s large film industry.
But as the night continued, the film also came out on top of increasingly prestigious categories, including International Feature Film award, Best Director for Bong, and the top award, Best Picture.
“I’m ready to drink tonight, ” Bong joked, after thanking the cast and staff during his acceptance speech for the International Feature Film award.
After the nominations were announced in January, Bong said he saw it as a sign that language is no longer a stumbling block for global success.
“I was so proud as a Korean to hear that a South Korean film defeated so many famous foreign films, ” said Chung Su-yoon, a Seoul resident who watched Parasite just two hours before the Oscars yesterday.
Pop culture critic Kim Hern-sik said the deeper messages of Parasite allowed it to resonate with people around the world.
“Just like BTS had a popular appeal by casting the problems the youth go through everywhere in the world, Parasite gained global understanding by demonstrating the issue of the gap between the rich and poor, ” Kim said, referring to the K-pop group that has found wide success in the United States and around the world.
One clip making the rounds on South Korean social media was a slow-motion shot of the cast enjoying the night on the red carpet, cheering the stars and wishing them the best of luck.
US Ambassador to South Korea Harry Harris tweeted, “we are doing a watch party at the embassy eating jjapaguri”, referring to the noodle dish the rich family enjoys in the movie.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in said the film’s cast and crew helped instil “pride and courage in our people as we come together to weather difficulties”. — Reuters
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