Screening: Wednesday, April 1
Genre: South Korean comedy/mystery/social satire (subtitled)
In Parasite, director Bong Joon-ho takes us on a hilarious (sometimes terrifying) roller coaster ride with ambition and greed. Two families are contrasted in the film: the unemployed Kims who live in a small, cluttered subterranean apartment and the wealthy Parks who reside in a spacious and well-tended luxury home. The Kim’s likable son, Ki-Woo (Choi Woo-sik) is hired as a substitute English tutor for the Parks’ teenage daughter Da-hye (Jung Ziso). Through Ki-Woo who introduces himself as Kevin, the Kim family’s feet are firmly planted inside the unsuspecting Parks’ door. By trickery and deceit, without disclosing that they are related, Kevin soon has all of his family working as domestics for the rich but gullible Parks. The self-absorption, privilege and entitlement of the wealthy Parks make it easy for them thoughtlessly to exploit their servants, whom they regard as their social inferiors, but it is also their attitudes that make the Parks their servants’ easy prey. In contrast, the Kims’ highly skilled street smarts and resourcefulness, needed to survive poverty, predispose them at least initially, to outwit the Parks. However despite the Kims’ newly acquired good fortune, their resentment simmers. Will it boil over? As servants, they are intimately aware on a daily basis of the Parks’ advantages, to which, had fortune decreed otherwise, they feel they would be equally deserving. Who are the real parasites in the end? Director Bong’s Palme d’Or prize-winning film expertly mines the depths of social realism with its combustible mix of satire, farce, mystery and even horror. Don’t miss it.