“Parasite” director Bong Joon-ho said it was an honor to receive Best Original Screenplay, the first Oscar for South Korea’s big film industry.
But as the evening progressed, the film also came out on top of increasingly prestigious categories, including the International Feature Film award, Best Director Bong, and the top prize, Best Picture.
“I’m ready to drink tonight,” Bong joked, after thanking the cast and staff during his acceptance speech for the International Feature Film award.
Executive producer Kwak Sin-ae said she was “out of place” after the film won Best Picture.
Hashtags Parasite and Director Bong Joon-ho were the most trending on South Korea’s Twitter, while the film’s name was the most searched on the local Naver web portal after winning.
“Parasite”, a satirical look at the huge gap between the rich and poor in South Korea, snagged nominations for best picture, best director, and best production design, in addition to its best script and best international feature nominations.
“Just as BTS gained popular appeal by casting the problems that the youth go through everywhere in the world, ‘Parasite’ gained global understanding by showing the issue of the gap between the rich and the poor, “says pop culture critic Kim Hern-sik, referring to the K-pop group that has gained widespread success in the United States and around the world.
While South Korea’s film industry is one of the largest in the world, the Korean-language “Parasite” made unprecedented waves in international markets.
After the nominations were announced in January, Bong said he saw it as a sign that language is no longer a barrier to global success.
One clip making the rounds on South Korean social media ridiculed a reporter who asked Bong why he shot the film in Korean.
“She should have asked Scorsese or Tarantino why they shot their own films in English,” said one commenter, referring to other directors who had been nominated.
Another popular clip-on South Korean social media was a slow-motion picture of the cast enjoying the night on the red carpet, cheering the stars and wishing them the best of luck.
Harry Harris, US Ambassador to South Korea tweeted, “we are hosting a viewing party at the embassy eating Jalpaiguri”, referring to the noodle dish enjoyed by the rich family in the film.