Parasite: History maker - but why did we not know about it before?

'Parasite' placed itself in the history books as the first non-English speaking film to win the Oscar for Best Picture. Now, if such a successful film won many awards, the question is: why have we not seen or heard about it?

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'Parasite' placed itself in the history books at the 92nd Academy Awards, being the first non-English speaking film to win the Oscar for Best Picture. The South Korean film also won other awards on the night, including, Best Original Screenplay, Best Director (for Bong Joon-ho) and Best International Feature Film. 

For those who are not already aware, this multi-award-winning film is a dark comedy thriller film about two families from different social classes living in the capital city of South Korea – Seoul. One of the families lives in poverty in awful conditions in the form of a semi-basement (banjiha); whereas the other family is an upper-class household with a massive house that many people cannot afford. 

The family in poverty, the Kim family, are struggling financially to support themselves. They manage to hatch a plan to work for the Park family (the family mentioned to be an upper-class household above) which they eventually succeed in. Things take a turn for the worse in the film, however, as the Kim family’s happiness from their newfound jobs and lives working for the Parks are only temporary. 

Now if such a successful film won many awards at the 92nd Academy Awards ceremony, the question is: why have we not seen or heard about it? 

One of the reasons might be because foreign language films are not normally well-advertised. Even though you might have seen some memes on social media related to 'Parasite', you might not have seen the trailer promoting it on television or radio. You might have heard about the ‘Jessica Jingle’ sweeping across the internet which has gone viral

Another reason can be due to the reluctancy of some people to watch a film that has non-English audio. According to Indiewire.com, some critics have answered questions to whether they prefer English subtitles or not. One of these critics admitted that they don’t like reading films when trying to evaluate the performance of an actor. 

To finish off this article, 'Parasite' is one of those films that have crushed expectations normally anticipated from a Korean film. Even though it is viral on social media, there are still many people who have never seen it before. Regardless of if you have seen it or not, there is one aspect of Parasite that remains clear: this demonstrates the fact that more international films are being recognised for their efforts. This displays a changed outlook on society globally which is far more diverse compared to when the 1st Academy Awards took place in 1929. 

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