South Korean dark comedy Parasite made movie history at the Oscars on Feb. 9, becoming the first non-English-language film to win the best picture award — Hollywood’s biggest prize of all.
A genre-defying thriller about a poor family infiltrating a wealthy household, Parasite won four awards, stunning pundits who believed the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences would never crown a subtitled Asian movie.
“It’s such a great honor. I feel like I’ll wake up to find it’s all a dream. It all feels very surreal,” a jubilant Bong Joon Ho told journalists backstage, calling the night “crazy.”
Parasite also won the Oscar for best international feature, and became the first Asian film to scoop best original screenplay.
“I thought I was done for the day and ready to relax,” Bong said on collecting his third award of the night, best director. He paid tribute on stage to childhood hero and fellow nominee Martin Scorsese, drawing a standing ovation for the veteran director of The Irishman — which went home empty-handed.
But a bigger shock was in store as Parasite beat frontrunner 1917 to win best picture.
“It feels like a very opportune moment in history is happening right now,” producer Kwak Sin-ae told an audience of Tinseltown A-listers at the Dolby Theatre.
Bong predicted that “naturally we will come to a day” when “a foreign-language film winning this won’t be much of an issue.” (AFP-Jiji)