By Aqsa Rehman
Parasite has taken the world by storm and has earned an impressive 4 Academy Awards this past Sunday at the Oscars. The movie was the first South Korean film to earn any Oscar let alone Best Picture which is history itself, marking the first time a non-English film has received such an award.
Parasite is a film that compares the division of class in society with, the main characters being a rich family and a poor family. The film is beautifully crafted with delicate music, foreshadowing eerie twists and turns in the plot. The little details added to the film by director Bong Joon Ho make this film a unique treat that everyone should watch. Parasite is a rarity in cinema and is amazingly done with the strategic use of metaphors and perfectly acted scenes, making the film even more stunning.
Director Bong Joon Ho has also earned himself an Oscar in the Best Director category. Parasite has continued to take the Western world by storm despite the obvious language barrier. Most of the reviews of Bong’s film have been positive however, there have been some ignorant remarks towards the film and more specifically the language it was made in.
Parasite undoubtedly opens so many doors towards the idea of foreign films and the beauty of film through different languages across the world. However, the ignorance that comes with this is still very much prominent and we certainly can’t deny that although as a society we are progressing to become more inclusive, there are still aspects we need to work on.
For example twitter user Jon Miller has some interesting comments towards Bong’s acceptance speech which he did in his native language:
Jon was flamed by the majority of twitter including famous model Chrissy Teigen and her husband John Legend.
Parasite is a beautiful film that deserves all of the awards it has received. It shows us that films shouldn’t be discredited because they are not in English and the Academy has made a huge step by not only giving a non-English film 6 nominations, but also 4 wins including the most coveted award, Best Picture.
As a person of colour and someone who comes from a Pakistani background, I would never imagine a film made in Urdu to ever get nominated, let alone win an Oscar. But Parasite has made it possible for foreign filmmakers everywhere and, in a couple of years, we might have categories filled with non-English films.
Bong clearly states that if the [American audience] can get over the 2 inch barrier of subtitles they’ll be introduced to a whole new world of media including music, films and much more. Unfortunately as we continue to progress, there will still be the ignorant few who don’t choose to move along and instead remain stagnant in their ways. We shouldn’t let that discourage us and as a society we need to continue to promote non-English films!
Parasite may have been the first non-English film to be nominated for the Oscars but it certainly won’t be the last.