Once you overcome the one-inch tall barrier of subtitles, you will be introduced to so many more amazing films.
South Korean film director Bong Joon-ho said these words when he won the Golden Globe for the Best Foreign Language Film for his movie Parasite.
Today, Parasite scripted history by becoming the first non-English language film to win the Best Picture at Oscars. His words, and the subsequent win, could not be more relevant.
A black comedy thriller, Parasite tells the story of how members of a lower-income family infiltrate a wealthier household, only to be met by far worse secrets than they imagined. The film, that already won at the BAFTA, the Golden Globe, and the SAG, had already scripted history when it was nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars.
However, not only did Parasite sweep the Oscars with four awards, but it also created history, yet again, by becoming the first Non-English film to win the Best Picture Award.
Parasite, that beat movies like Joker, Jojo Rabbit, 1917, and others, to win the award is a brilliant film that deserves the accolades coming its way. However, the win also paves the way not just for Asian cinema, but international cinema as a whole. And that perhaps is one of the film’s greatest achievements.
For the longest time, Oscars or the Academy Awards have remained one of the most popular and coveted awards for filmmakers. And yet only 12 non-English films, including Parasite, have ever made it to the Best Picture nominee category.
Art has always had the power to transcend boundaries. After all, emotions do speak louder than language. But, for the longest time, Oscar nominations and wins continued with the ‘whitewashed’ version when it came to representing the best in cinema.
It’s perhaps destiny that Parasite won both, Best International Film and Best Picture in the same year that Oscars renamed the Best Foreign Language Film category to Best International Feature Film. Because, when it comes to good cinema, language is but a minor barrier. And Parasite was a beautiful reminder of that.
Parasite’s win also signifies greater representation for international cinema, specifically Asian cinema. Finally, the Asian community is getting a more inclusive representation on an international platform. More importantly, Asian cinema is getting recognized on a platform that, for the longest time, has represented any and every minority in a stereotypical fashion.
Simply put, with the international recognition and rewards that Parasite has earned, we can perhaps hope that not every ‘Asian kid’ in a movie will play the role of a ‘math-genius-nerd’.
It goes without saying that representation matters. It is important for young, creative minds, to see people receive the same level of love, recognition, fame, and respect, irrespective of where they come from. And art and cinema have always held in themselves the power to influence impressionable minds.
Guess the #Oscars aren’t so “local” anymore.😉— Daniel Dae Kim (@danieldaekim) February 10, 2020
Warmest, deepest congratulations to #Parasite, the first film not in the English language to ever win Best Picture. Truly historic.🇰🇷🇺🇸https://t.co/rQEcr7hf4k
Art truly transcends language, race, nationality, sexual orientation, everything!! #Parasite #Oscar2020 #Oscar pic.twitter.com/CVfib0vyVb— Barbara⁷ (@barbarabecaarmy) February 10, 2020
Not only is #Parasite one of the best Best Picture winners ever, but the future of the Academy actually looks promising for the first time in forever. An actual inclusive future seems tangible in a way it never has. Let’s keep this momentum going.— Zack Sharf (@ZSharf) February 10, 2020
Ultimately, Parasite winning Best Picture at the Oscars is the right step forward for greater cinema, across borders, to emerge. It paves the way for good, entertaining, important stories to weave their magic. And it reminds us that a good story always leaves an impression.
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