South Korea celebrates big Oscar wins of film ‘Parasite’

Sunday night belonged to director Bong joon-ho and his crew, as South Korean film “Parasite” became the biggest winner pocketing four awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best International Film and Best Original Screenplay.

The awarding ceremony cheered up while witnessing the historical moment, marking the first non-English language film to win the top prize at the Academy Awards.

And the emotional peak goes far beyond the Dolby Theater of Hollywood. Back in South Korea, the whole country shared the honor and the great joy.

South Korean social media erupted with the news of the Oscar win. “Parasite” became the most searched term on Naver, South Korea’s most used search engine. Meanwhile, the hashtags #Parasite and #DirectorBongJoonho were the most trending on Twitter South Korea.

At Bong’s alma mater, Seoul’s Yonsei University, students belonging to a school movie club watched the Academy Award ceremony together.

“It’s deeply meaningful for Korean movies and this will open the path for further development. It’s such a great honor. I’m speechless,” said Kim Nam-hoon, 21.

Jeong Ho-cheol, a 26-year-old student, praised Bong for pleasing both movie critics and crowds. “His way of dealing with the underside of Korean society and problems such as rich-poor gaps and the way he expresses those issues are very expressive,” he said.

Park Chan-wook, a prominent South Korean movie director who is regarded as Bong’s main rival at home, joined the congratulations.

It is a “huge blessing to work in the same industry as a person as talented as Bong and being able to call him a friend,” said Park, who won the Grand Prix at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival for “Oldboy,” in an interview with the Munhwa Ilbo newspaper.

Hyeonjun Jeong, a 10-year-old “Parasite” actor who remained in Seoul, shouted with joy as he watched a TV broadcast of the awards.

“I thought it would be awesome to get them, and we actually won them,” Jeong told The Associated Press. “So I am wondering if I am in heaven.”

South Korean President Moon Jae-in also conveyed his congratulations to director Bong and his crews. On Monday, Moon started his staff meeting by applauding the big wins. In a congratulatory message later posted on Twitter, the president wrote that he is “very pleased to see a Korean film stand shoulder to shoulder with those of other countries and mark the beginning of another 100 years of Korean filmmaking.”

“The Government will stand with those in the film industry so that they can stretch their imagination to the fullest and make movies free from worries,” the message says.

South Korean boy band BTS also posted on Twitter to express their congratulations to director Bong Joon-ho. BTS is another milestone of South Korea’s cultural development. In 2018, it became the first K-pop band to top the Billboard 200 music charts.

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