‘Parasite’ Becomes First Korean Film to Win at the Golden Globes
Bong Joon-ho’s “Parasite” made history on Sunday night as the first South Korean film to win a Golden Globe.
The dark comedy thriller, known at home as “Gisaengchung” (“기생충”), received the award for best foreign-language film, beating Ladj Ly’s “Les Misérables” (France), Pedro Almodóvar’s “Pain and Glory” (Spain), Céline Sciamma’s “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” (France) and Lulu Wang’s “The Farewell” (USA).
Co-written by Bong with Han Jin-won, “Parasite” follows the Kims, a poor Korean family that ingratiates their way into the lives of the wealthy Parks, eventually getting “entangled in an unexpected incident.”
The film stars Song Kang-ho — who collaborated with Bong in “Memories of Murder” (2003) and “The Host” (2006) — Chang Hyae-jin, Choi Woo-shik, Park So-dam, Lee Sun-kyun and Cho Yeo-jeong.
First released in May 2019 at the Cannes Film Festival, “Parasite” progressively became a global blockbuster, raking more than $23 million in local theaters and over $105 million in international cinemas.
The movie is also the first Korean film to win the coveted Palme d’Or — the highest prize at the Cannes — and has since received multiple accolades, including best film from Australia’s 9th AACTA International Awards, best picture and director from the 2019 Chicago Film Critics Association Awards, and best picture, director and supporting actor from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association.
“Once you overcome the one-inch tall barrier of subtitles, you will be introduced to so many more amazing films,” Bong said through a translator in his acceptance speech. “Just being nominated along with fellow, amazing international filmmakers was a huge honor.”
“Parasite,” presented entirely in Korean, did not qualify for the best picture nomination, since the Hollywood Foreign Press Association requires contenders to feature “more than 50% English dialogue.”
“I think we use only one language: the cinema,” Bong added.