Who hasn't heard of Parasite? This film drew a lot of attention when it won the Oscar 2020 taking 4 statuettes. And it was the first non-English speaking film to win the Best Picture category. Definitely a major milestone for South Korean culture.
The movie Parasite (기생충) was released in Brazil on November 9, 2019, is directed by Bong Joon-ho and produced by Barunson E&A Corp. In the main list are the actors Park Seo-joon, Park So-dam, Song Kang-ho, Jang Hye-jin, Cho Yeo-jeong, Sun-Kyun Lee, Jung Ji-so, Lee Jung-eun among others.
What made this drama deserve an Oscar? What message does it bring and what is its comparison with the biggest series of the moment round 6?
According to the dictionary definition Parasite means “an organism that lives on and in another organism, obtaining food from it and often causing damage to it”. Surely that name couldn't be so appropriate! The film tells the story of a family of 4 who suffer from so much poverty. They don't have a job and live in a very simple place.
Their luck changes when Min (Park Seo-joon) is offered by a friend to take his place as an English language tutor while he leaves the country. His friend teaches English to a rich young woman and is apparently in love with her so he asks him to take care of her until he returns. But Min has no training, but knows the English language. So he asks his art-savvy sister Ki-jung (Park Seo-joon) to make a fake resume.
Min manages to get accepted to teach young Da-hye (Jung Ji-so) and ends up falling in love with her shortly after. There he realizes that the housewife's son likes art so he suggests his sister (not to mention that it's his sister, but a former college roommate) and she can also work in the house. The two earn well, but not satisfied, Ki-jung makes a trap for the driver to be fired and then she suggests her father Kim (saying that he was a driver for an acquaintance) to work there.
After the three family members are in the house, Kim and the kids frame the housekeeper and get her fired. He then suggests to his wife Chung-Sook (Jang Hye-jin) without saying that she is his wife. So the whole family starts working on the house based on lies to have a better financial life.
One day the family of parasites are alone in the rich family's house, then the former housekeeper appears saying that she needs to look for something she had forgotten, Upon entering she takes Chung-Sook to a basement where she hides her husband and tells him that she kept him there all this time because she couldn't afford it and asks her to continue feeding her husband.
But Chung-Sook refuses and the rest of the family rolls down the stairs and the former housekeeper discovers that they are just like her. The former housekeeper threatens to show the rich family their video. When the owners of the house return, everyone disguises it and the former housekeeper and her husband are locked in the basement, but she ends up falling and dying when she hits her head.
On the birthday of the housewife's youngest son, everyone is gathered and the ex-housekeeper's husband manages to escape from the basement, throws a huge rock at Min's head, locks a knife in Ki-jung's chest and tries to stab Chung-Sook. who manages to kill him, but Kim stabs her somewhat complex boss with a knife every time he complains about her smell and holds his nose as he approaches. Kim goes into hiding in the rich family's basement and is hiding there until the day she can leave.
The movie Parasite makes a heavy criticism of social inequality in South Korea. There it shows the extreme of those who have a lot and those who have nothing. And those who have nothing do everything to try to get to the top even if it's illegal. Able even to kill so as not to have the same life as before.
The criticism that I believe is also present is that the poor have fewer opportunities for employment and education because of the social situation. All of the parasite family really had the skills they used to work, but none had enough education and could not get a job because they lacked experience and proven training. And when they got some jobs, they weren't paid fairly.
The despair for not having the basics is so much that they accept to humiliate themselves to the point of living in other people's basements just to have food. And those who have resources don't want to get too involved with those who don't have the same standard of living. This despair caused by inequality is worldwide, especially in less developed countries.
Parasite X Round 6
I've already written about Round 6 here and the drama is leading the ranking of the most watched series on Netflix. What they have in common is that they are well-received South Korean creations. Parasite received 4 statuettes at the Oscars, the first film from North Korea to receive an Oscar and Round 6 came to break the prejudice surrounding Korean productions, for being leading the platform.
Both have comedy, drama and suspense. The starting point is financial hardship and debt. These people are capable of anything to get out of financial suffering. This reality draws attention because many people live on the edge as well.
Have you watched any of these South Korean productions?