Director of Oscar-winning ‘Parasite’ did not want to sugarcoat inequality


SEOUL (Reuters) – The stark inequality between two South Korean families portrayed in the Oscar-winning film “Parasite” might make viewers uncomfortable but it was the “only path” to revealing cold reality, the film’s director, Bong Joon-ho, said on Wednesday.

Director of four Oscar award-winning film ‘Parasite’ Bong Joon-ho answers a reporters’ question during a news conference in Seoul, South Korea, February 19, 2020. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

The tale of the wealthy Parks and the poor Kims became the first non-English language movie to win this year’s Oscar for best picture, and three more, sparking debate over a growing social divide in Asia’s fourth-largest economy.

“You might feel uncomfortable and dislike those scenes but I did not want to sugarcoat them,” Bong told a news conference with the film’s cast and crew in the South Korean capital of Seoul.

“I wanted to be as candid as possible about this age of inequality. Even if it may look publicly dangerous, that was the only path this film could take.”

Bong, who had paid homage to Martin Scorsese in a speech at the Oscars, said the Hollywood veteran offered congratulations and expressed expectations for his next film in a letter.

“He told me to take rest, but just a little bit of it and get back to work, as he is awaiting my next movie,” Bong said.

Accepting the best director award, Bong had cited a remark by Scorsese, also a nominee for mob drama “The Irishman”, to the effect that “The most personal is the most creative.”

Bong has said he was working on two projects, one of which he described as being based on a “fearful” incident in Seoul, while also producer for an HBO limited series on “Parasite”.

But he dismissed recent U.S. media reports that Tilda Swinton and Mark Ruffalo would star in the television adaptation, saying it was at a “very early stage”.

Bong added, “Regardless of whether I won the awards, it was meaningful and pure joy that the global audience responded to my work.

“Why they did it should be a long-term task (for viewers) but my job is to prepare for the next film, as Scorsese told me not to rest for a long time.”

Reporting by Hyonhee Shin; Editing by Clarence Fernandez

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