Does Parasite Deserve Academy Accolades?

Cael Brennan

This year at the Academy Awards history was forever changed. Sweeping the 92nd Academy Awards was Bong Joon Ho’s masterpiece “Parasite”. The First Korean film to be nominated for an Academy Award, and the first ever international film ever to win best picture, “Parasite”, will be remembered as a champion for change amongst all films.

“Parasite” examines the symbiotic relationship of greed, wealth and classism as the affluent Park family is threatened by the impoverished Kim clan seeping into their lives, asking the question, how does one get rid of a parasite? The audience is shown a destitute family living in Seoul semi-basement living a life of which they must fold pizza boxes to feed themselves, and allow toxic gases to cloud their home in order to exterminate the stink bugs within their home. However an opportunity appears and the potential for newfound money arises. The Park family, a privileged and extremely wealthy group of people, have several different accommodations. Some of which include tutoring for their daughter, an art teacher for their son, a driver and a housekeeper. The Kim family after the oldest son Ki-woo becomes a tutor for the Parks, The Kim clan recognizes the potential in the Parks. They scheme and inevitably replace each service position for the Parks. However, as bright as their future may apparently seem, twisted realities make themselves apparent, and crazed new circumstances become known. The Kim clan now isolated and trapped by their discoveries will be left wondering who is the real parasite.

The Oscars have never been the pinnacle of artistic recognition for films made outside the U.S. Yet Parasite’s incredible run at the ceremony picked up a total of four awards marking a departure from the typical methodology used by the Academy. Most thrillingly, Bong’s film won Best Picture, prevailing over the predicted options from directors such as Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino. In doing so, Parasite became the first non-English-language movie to win the Academy’s top award and made history.

But even before tonight, Parasite had already earned all the accomplishments that really matter; it didn’t need an Oscar. The film had garnered critical acclaim, resonated with audiences in Bong’s home country as well as with viewers around the world, and achieved an unprecedented awards season run. The film censored American moviegoers willing to overcome the 1-inch-tall barrier of subtitles, as Bong described through his interpreter, Sharon Choi, while accepting the Golden Globe for Best Foreign-Language Film last month.

Parasite is a movie that begs to be seen. It challenges typical storytelling and surprises a viewer at every turn. The messages weaved into this film are apparent everywhere, and deserve the accolades garnered. It is a historic challenger to Oscar norms, and it’s significance will never be forgotten.