Parasite’s Oscar wins were a remarkable moment that could mean the film breakthrough for the so-called international ghetto, opening the door for Best Picture wins in years to come.

Parasite’s Oscar wins were a remarkable moment that could mean the film breakthrough for the so-called international ghetto, opening the door for Best Picture wins in years to come.

It hasn’t been long since Netflix took everyone by storm and started producing films that would be nominated for the prestigious film awards. But let’s forget about that for a moment, as this is all about something different; something historic.

Parasite’s extraordinary Oscar night triumph on Sunday, February 9, was the most radical event to occur at the ceremony in recent memory. And, let’s be honest, it was also the best thing that could have happened to the Academy Awards.

The four Oscars win for the South Korean film is also a thrilling development. The Academy has always been a moving target in the debate over diversity, lack of female representation as well as the all-too-familiar #OscarsSoWhite. This year it was great to see that they were saved from all that backlash (for now) thanks to the brilliance of a South Korean filmmaker. 

Director Bong Joon-ho talking about his film Parasite at a press conference. Republic of Korea/Flickr.

Parasite, the first foreign-language film to win the Best Picture award, has shown filmmakers from around the world something that no one could believe was true: films don’t have to be from an American or English-speaking culture to win the big prize.

“In the environment that we currently live in, I think we’re all connected,” director Bong Joon-ho said, who still couldn’t believe what had just happened. “If we pursue the beauty of cinema and focus on the individual charms that each piece has then, I think, we will naturally overcome these barriers.”

In the end, the Academy can only nominate what it is presented with. The broader industry needs to do better to support inclusion too. Bong has done his part. Now, it’s up to filmmakers from around the world to continue to be bold in their storytelling, for USA distributors to be bolder and for the Academy’s voting members to let new stories like this succeeding as long as audiences want them to.

Pablo Lario
BA Journalism

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