South Korean film Parasite won the 2020 Academy Award for Best Picture, becoming the first foreign language movie to win an Oscar in that category.
The movie also won Oscars for Best International Feature Film, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Director.
Director Bong Jun Ho was nominated in three categories and won all three awards.
Parasite also makes history as the first South Korean film to be Oscar-nominated.
This first for the Academy Awards is a big win for the communities who still struggle to be seen during the ceremonies, specifically people of color.
When the 2020 nominations were released, there was disappointment among many regarding the lack of female directors nominated, along with only one non-white actor nominated in the major acting categories.
Throughout the night, presenters and performers called out the lack of diversity. Parasite’s win signified what many hope will be a change in the mainly white male dominated Oscars, possibly inspiring more changes in Hollywood, which mirrors the same pattern.
Parasite itself displays another common social issue, the divide between socio-economic classes. The thriller follows the poor Kim family as they plot to become employed by the high-class Park family. It exhibits the lifestyle differences between upper and lower class families, and highlights what this divide is like in South Korea.
The movie opened at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival where it won the Palme d’Or, and went on to be released in South Korea by CJ Entertainment. Since then, Parasite has won more awards including a Golden Globe, BAFTA Award, and Screen Actors Guild Award.
This film’s success and surprising Academy Awards win will hopefully inspire more recognition of foreign language films in Hollywood. As said by Bong Jun Ho, “Once you overcome the 1-inch-tall barrier of subtitles, you will be introduced to so many more amazing films.”