The Evolution of Parasite in Five Films — Scene+Heard (2023)

The Evolution of Parasite in Five Films — Scene+Heard (1)

By Claire Pak

In May 2019, Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite made history at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival by becoming the first film by a Korean director to ever win the Palme d’Or. On February 9, 2020, Parasite would repeat its success by becoming the first non-English language film to win Best Picture at the 92nd Academy Awards. Likely thanks to its Oscar win, Parasite did astoundingly well in the American box office, becoming the fourth top-grossing foreign-language film in the United States behind Zhang Yimou’s Hero (2002), Roberto Benigni’s Life is Beautiful (1997) and Ang Lee’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2002).

I had watched the Oscars live, back in February. Alone in my dorm room, I watched, shock and hope building, as Parasite snatched Best Screenplay, then Best Director, then finally, the coveted Best Picture prize. My mom texted me the news the following day, sending screenshots of different Korean articles talking about Parasite’s victory at the Oscars. What’s interesting, she told me, was that foreign critics and audiences thought that the story of Parasite was crazy, fresh, novel, new; yet in South Korea, the film was understood as a story that had been told time and time again.

Parasite is the product of a vibrant history of Korean cinema which has continued to wrestle with neoliberalism and imperialism: many of the most powerful and successful films return to nationalist stories under the time of Japanese imperialism and the legacy of American occupation, or attack systems of inequality where the marginalized are erased in broader societal narratives. At the same time, the story of Parasite and its eventual success at the Oscars is a story of globalization: the story of global films engaging in conversations with one another, and the story of a film industry that has sought and garnered more and more international attention over the last three decades.

I’m going to talk a little about that history here, today, by talking about the evolution of Parasite in five films. It won’t be a completely thorough or comprehensive history – there are definitely important films and filmmakers I leave out--but still, I wanted to talk a bit about how the story behind the film has evolved; its histories and its inspirations, and how all of it led to that historic moment at the Oscars last February.

Psycho: The Architecture of the Bates House

“[Alfred Hitchcock] always gives me very strange inspiration…I rewatched Psycho because the Bates house, not the motel, it had a very interesting structure.” —Bong Joon-Ho, Interview with Vanity Fair

The Evolution of Parasite in Five Films — Scene+Heard (2)

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There are various films that Parasite draws inspiration from – far too many for me to extensively cover. A popular Business Insider video points to the legacy of acclaimed director Akira Kurosawa’s 1963 film High and Low on Parasite, arguing that the way Parasite uses height – particularly the importance of stairs in the film – as a visual representation of class takes inspiration from the importance of height in High and Low. In a separate interview, Bong Joon-ho pointed to the 1953 film The Wages of Fear (La Salaire de la Peur) as helping shape his filmmaking sense around suspense.

Among these various influences, an important inspiration for Parasite is Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 classic Psycho. During Parasite’s film festival run and its Oscars campaign, Bong repeatedly credited Psycho as influencing Parasite. On a superficial level, the two films also share a startling mid-film twist that drastically changes the direction of its plot. Of particular note, Bong points to how the architecture of the Bates House in Psycho heightens suspense by strategically hiding and revealing clues and dangers to the characters and the camera as they both navigate the space of its house, as they peer into rooms or run down hallways or simply try to find a place to hide. Psycho, much like Parasite, uses staircases as important sites of action and even violence. And, like the luxurious Park family house in Parasite, the Bates house holds secrets in its basement – secrets that those living in the house would prefer to keep hidden, particularly to themselves.

The Housemaid and Variations Thereof

”I’m going to work as a housekeeper for a rich family. You can learn a lot by watching how the rich live.” —Woman of Fire (화녀), 1971. Directed by Kim Ki-Young.

The Evolution of Parasite in Five Films — Scene+Heard (3)

The biggest and one of the most important inspirations for Parasite, though, comes from a 1960 classic from another part of the world, directed by an auteur who (much like Hitchcock) inspired a whole new generation of filmmakers. That director is the widely acclaimed Kim Ki-young, and the film in question is the strange and disturbing melodrama The Housemaid (하녀), whose plot focuses on an upper-middle class family who hires a seductive housemaid. When it was released – between the student-led April Revolution that overturned an autocratic government and a military coup that would establish a dictatorship headed by Park Chung-hee – the film was a surprising box office success. Surprising, because it’s not exactly what you might consider a crowd-pleaser. Watching it now, you have to get past the melodramatic style of acting that was typical at the time and the voices that were quite obviously added in post (again, typical of the time). Once you do, though, you’d be treated to a horror film that is surprisingly modern. What begins as a melodrama slowly descends into a vivid and violent nightmare with a surprisingly high body count, one that is filled with anxiety around female sexuality, emasculated men, and the dangerous desire for upward economic and social mobility.

Bong has frequently talked about Kim Ki-young as a mentor to him; he’s spoken about The Housemaid for the film’s release on Criterion and has said in interviews that it is the “one Korean film that everyone must watch.” He’s not the only director to take inspiration from the film: in fact, Kim Ki-young has had an extraordinary impact on many of South Korea’s most prominent directors. Park Chan-wook (director of the fantastic lesbian period drama/erotic thriller The Handmaiden, which I might love even more than Parasite, as well as the classic revenge thriller/greek myth Oldboy) cites The Housemaid as a film that has greatly influenced his career. Im Sang-soo would remake The Housemaid in 2010, updating the plot to involve the titular maid being hired by a wealthy family to watch over their young daughter. She enters the family’s lavish and extravagant house, begins to live there as their live-in maid. But her various relationships with the family members, and the growing power struggles within the household, light the fuse for an eventual horrific explosion of violence.

Parasite takes several cues from The Housemaid, from its blending of drama and horror, to its use of space and stairs as a symbol for mobility, and finally to the class conflict and continuously shifting power dynamics present throughout the course of the film. The importance of stairs, too, as a representation for shifting relations of power can be seen in The Housemaid. Bong, in describing The Housemaid, notes: “The stairs are just as important as the characters for the film, what the stairs symbolize. A couple trying to make it to the upper middle class and this housemaid who is a monster and tries to ruin this family.”

Perhaps it is the monsters at the core of these two films – the housemaid, and the Kim family who have snuck their way into the Park family house – that bind them together. The housemaid is at once a villain and a tragic hero, who is compelling to watch because of how she embodies anxieties around class and the instability of financial security. Kim Ki-young would later go on to make two more entries into The Housemaid trilogy. Both titled Woman of Fire (화녀), they were variations on the plot and story of the original film. ”I’m going to work as a housekeeper for a rich family,” the protagonist of the 1971 film says. “You can learn a lot by watching how the rich live.” And she does learn, though perhaps nothing good: this country girl learns to use her sexuality – the very thing that made her vulnerable to predatory men – as a weapon, and in doing so lays bare the inequalities and repressed anger that pervades the ways in which we travel through life.

The Host, Snowpiercer and The Korean New Wave

“The great Korean cinema of the late 90s and the 2000s crept up on me, slowly and without warning.” – Scorsese, in the forward to the book Virtual Hallyu: Korean Cinema of the Global Era by Kyung Hyun Kim

The Evolution of Parasite in Five Films — Scene+Heard (4)

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The idea for Parasite, according to Bong, emerged during the post-production of his film Snowpiercer in 2013. Which makes sense: Bong’s Snowpiercer, though adhering much more closely to the action sci-fi genre than Parasite, also has class conflict at its core. Snowpiercer is set in a train on a post-apocalyptic frozen wasteland. The plot kicks off when Chris Evans’ character leads a revolution among the poor and oppressed in the back of the train, where the vehicle (as soon becomes apparent) functions as a physical representation of late capitalism.

Social commentary, particularly commentary on class, is hardly a stranger in his work. His 2006 monster hit The Host (괴물) involves a poor family who, faced with institutional indifference and government-sanctioned misinformation about the monster in Han River, embark on their own rescue mission to find their missing child. Scathing political commentary on class and South Korea’s difficult, ambivalent relationship with the United States is delivered with dark humor and a sprinkle of absurdity, interspersed with genre elements and exciting action scenes that make his movies so fun to watch. His 2017 Netflix release Okja is about a Korean country girl on a mission to rescue her superpig best friend from the clutches of a morally bankrupt multimillion dollar global corporation. His penchant for political commentary has landed him in trouble with the previous South Korean administrations, under ex-president Park Geun-hye, the daughter of former dictator Park Chung-hee. The administration put Bong – as well as a plethora of other artists, including actor Song Kang-ho (who stars in Parasite) – on a blacklist that cut funding to a wide range of “left-leaning celebrities.” Even now, apparently some conservative figures view Parasite as a “commie movie.”

(Former president Park Geun-hye had since been impeached in 2017 and is now sentenced to 25 years in prison. For all countries, democracy is a work-in-progress, but despite the seeming hopelessness of it all sometimes people are still willing to work at it.)

In this respect, Parasite is only a natural culmination of Bong Joon-ho’s filmmaking career so far. At the same time, Parasite is the culmination of almost three decades of increasing international attention to Korean cinema. Bong Joon-ho did not come out of nowhere. In fact, he has been one of the most prominent filmmakers of what is called the Korean New Wave, referring to a surge of films from the late 1990s and early 2000s that consisted of sleek blockbusters, romantic comedies and creative genre films that would prove to be domestic and international successes.

Bong has long been an important figure in this wave of Korean film. His 2003 masterpiece Memories of Murder (which arguably did Zodiac before Zodiac) and his 2006 The Host proved to be major domestic box office hits and attracted the attention of international film critics. The aforementioned Park Chan-wook is another major player, whose 2003 film Oldboy ignited popular attention at international film festivals, winning the Grand Prix at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival.

The success of Korean filmmakers of this era would lead them into working abroad, whether in Hollywood or for other English-language projects. In 2013 Bong would embark on Snowpiercer, a joint South Korean-Czech production starring Hollywood stars such as Chris Evans (Captain America himself), Tilda Swinton (Doctor Strange, Suspiria), and Octavia Spencer (Fruitvale Station, Shape of Water, Hidden Figures) alongside Song Kang-ho (most recently, Kim Ki-taek in Parasite). He would later work with Netflix to release Okja, which also stars Korean actors alongside Jake Gyllenhaal, Steven Yeun and another appearance of Tilda Swinton, among others. Similarly, Park Chan-wook would go on to direct Stoker with Nicole Kidman and Mia Wasikowska in 2013, and direct Little Drummer Girl with Florence Pugh for the BBC. Directors would not be the only ones to benefit from this overseas recognition: cinematographer Chung Chung-hoon, a constant collaborator with Park Chan-wook, has recently gone on to provide the cinematography of big Hollywood productions such as It: Part 1, Zombieland: Double Tap and the upcoming Edgar Wright film Last Night in Soho.

The Evolution of Parasite in Five Films — Scene+Heard (5)

The Korean New Wave has also attracted the interests of filmmakers outside of South Korea. "Of all the filmmakers out there in the last 20 years, [Bong Joon-Ho] has something that [1970s] Spielberg has. There is this level of entertainment and comedy in his films. [The Host and Memories of Murder] are both masterpieces … great in their own way.” This is what Quentin Tarantino said in a Q&A at the Busan International Film Festival in 2013, where the two of them hung out for an hour on stage. Quentin Tarantino has long been a fan of Bong’s work, and a supporter of Korean cinema. He had included Bong’s The Host and Park Chan-Wook’s JSA (Joint Security Area) as two of his favorite films since 1992. He had been one of the chief advocates for Park’s Oldboy, and had pushed strongly for the film to win the Palme d’Or of that year.

Tarantino’s not the only director who's been outspoken about his liking for Korean cinema. A recent example is Ari Aster, director of Midsommar and Hereditary, who included Lee Chang-dong (director of the classics Peppermint Candy and Secret Sunshine), Bong Joon-ho, Jang Joon-hwan (who directed the brutal dark comedy/sci-fi Save the Green Planet!) and Park Chan-wook on a reddit AMA list of his favorite contemporary directors. Jordan Peele allegedly included A Tale of Two Sisters, a film directed by Kim Jee-woon (another prominent figure in the Korean New Wave) in a list of ten horror films that Peele told Lupita Nyong’o to watch prior to shooting Us.

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And, of course, I’d earlier cited a quote from Scorsese. In the foreword to the book Virtual Hallyu: Korean Cinema of the Global Era by Kyung Hyun Kim, Scorsese called the Korean New Wave “one of the great national cinematic flowerings of the last decade.” He also said he had become absorbed in earlier Korean filmmakers who helped paved the road for contemporary Korean films, directors like Park Kwang-su and Im Kwon-taek. In 2007, Scorsese founded the World Cinema Project, which preserves and restores films from around the world. One of its first restoration projects was Kim Ki-young’s The Housemaid, which Scorsese has called “quite unlike anything I have ever seen.”

At the Oscars, Bong Joon-ho made a gracious speech during his Best Director acceptance, drawing attention to Scorsese and Tarantino’s work and talking about how they’ve inspired him. He even created a moment of standing ovation for Scorsese and the impact he’s had, and still has, on the modern cinematic landscape. In that moment, Bong was showing his admiration to two heavyweight directors in film – he has affectionately referred to Scorsese as “big brother (형)” in interviews and talks freely about how much he loves his films. At the same time, Bong was also speaking to their continued advocacy for Korean film, and their advocacy of Bong’s films, over the last few decades.

The Evolution of Parasite in Five Films — Scene+Heard (6)

Korean cinema has always been exciting, witty and sharp in its social and political commentary. There have always been Korean films deserving of attention and critical analysis. But it is the films of the Korean New Wave that have defined and shaped contemporary cinema. And it is the international recognition that those films garnered abroad that paved the way for that historic Oscars victory. After all, the Oscars have never purely been about quality. It has always been about industry, politics and historic trends in the (American) cinema landscape, a reflection of the values of the Hollywood voters.

In which case, what does Parasite’s victory suggest?

Us: The Ghosts of 2019

“Sis, you believe in ghosts, right? Da-song saw a ghost in the house when he was in 1st grade.” --Park Chung-sook in Parasite

“She wasn’t a reflection. She was real. She was real. She… I ran as fast as I could. My whole life, I’ve felt like she’s still coming for me.” --Adelaide Wilson in Us

I watched Parasite for the first time all the way back in May 2019 when I was visiting my mother in South Korea. It blew me away then; it still does now. Still, for some reason, as I stepped outside the movie theater, another movie popped into my head. I couldn’t help but think of Jordan Peele’s Us, which I had watched a month or so earlier. Even now, I think the two movies would make great back-to-back features. Both Parasite and Us are deeply invested in class and class conflict, where important plot twists occur after the descent of a character into secret hidden chambers below. Both involve the “ghosts of poverty” who emerge from underground to haunt and terrify those above. Both touch on the way the media obscure the violence that bubbles over from those who are desperate and ignored, framing them as isolated and inexplicable instead of systematic.

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In an interview, Bong Joon-Ho said something that I think explains how both a movie like Us and Parasite could be released in the same year, on similar topics, with similar invocation and subversion of genre tropes, independently of one another. Forgive the long quote, but I love it a lot:

“When directing the movie, I tried to express a sentiment specific to Korean culture, and I thought that [Parasite] was a movie full of Koreanness if seen from an outsider’s perspective. But after screening the film, the passionate response from audiences around the world made me realise that it was a very universal story. Essentially, we all live in the same country called Capitalism, which may explain the universality of their responses.”

Every nation and community emerge from their own histories and popular culture and modern mythologies. But we all have been confronted with the problems of poverty, of systematic inequalities, of people doing what it takes to survive and the violence that sometimes results. We keep repeating the same story, over and over again, variations on a theme: and we will continue to do so, until (maybe) we change drastically enough that we no longer need to.

See Also:

Here are a few other figures attributed to the Korean New Wave that you should check out, should you be so inclined:

  • Park Chan-wook: listen, I love Parasite, and I like Park’s Oldboy quite a bit, but I adore The Handmaiden when I first watched it. I’m long due for a rewatch but I’m pretty sure it was my favorite movie of the last decade. What a lush, thrilling film, which somehow deals with class, imperialism and the objectification of women while gleefully taking a sledgehammer to the male gaze all in one gorgeous package. The Handmaiden and Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Favorite would make excellent back-to-back features, in my opinion.

...Though the fact that my mother has watched this film and its very long, very explicit sex scenes does trip me up.

  • Lee Chang-dong: he directed Burning two years ago and Poetry in 2010, as well as the incredibly ambitious Peppermint Candy and the devastating Secret Sunshine. Secret Sunshine is so devastating, in fact, that I never managed to watch it all the way through, and is the reason I don’t think I will ever watch Poetry until I’m emotionally ready to deal with that.

  • Kim Jee-woon: he is more genre/crowd friendly than Lee Chang-dong. His Age of Shadows (on Netflix!) is a exciting period action thriller set in Japanese colonial times. His I Saw the Devil, meanwhile, is a brutal and spectacularly violent revenge thriller which I never finished, because it’s a bit much, even for me.

  • Recently, Train to Busan, directed by Yeon Sang-ho, has done fantastically well both in Korea and internationally, likely thanks to the fact that it’s just a terrific zombie movie that manages not to feel stale. It’s sequel/spiritual successor, Peninsula, is set to come out later this year. Highly recommended for people who like zombie things, or just good action.

  • Kim Bora: An emerging director, but her House of Hummingbirds is supposed to be stellar.

  • Na Hong-jin: The Wailing is on Netflix, and is probably the best exorcism-related horror film on the platform.

I’m missing many others, but these are a few I can conjure up at the moment.

  • I cited Virtual Hallyu: Korean Cinema of the Global Era (by Kyung Hyun Kim) earlier; it’s an academic text, the kind you read in a university course, but it’s still rather interesting. And hey, Martin Scorsese wrote the foreword.

  • There is a Snowpiercer TV series, inspired by Bong’s Snowpiercer movie, set to air on TNT in mid-May. Its cast stars Daveed Diggs (Hamilton, Blindspotting), Jennifer Connelly (Labyrinth Alita: Battle Angel) among others. No idea whether it’ll be good or not--the project has experienced a host of production issues and controversies over the last three years--but it exists.

  • A Parasite tv series is in discussion. Who knows how that’ll turn out.


What is the impact of the movie Parasite? ›

In such a world, 'Parasite' gave independent filmmakers and artists who work on similar movie genres to keep making movies like that. Their desideratum of the global audience did increase with a surge in people choosing and going for films with a social reality/cause.

What is the message of the Parasite movie? ›

One clear way to explain the movie is: “Parasite is about class.” Class is the primary target of social commentary within Parasite. And every single element of the film from the scholar's stone, to the architecture of the homes, to the very names of the families all contribute to this central theme.

What do staircases symbolize in the movie Parasite? ›

The next symbolism commonly appearing in the film are stairs. Stairs played a huge role in the film, both the park and the kim family has to undergo the motion of going up and going down the set of stairs that symbolized the social stratification.

What is the conflict of the movie Parasite? ›

Parasite is a thriller, black comedy . It tries to show a class conflict through two families. From a Marxist lens, a class conflict arises when the bourgeoisie dominates and asserts his power over thr proletariat which happens mainly due to the economic inequality.

What does the movie Parasite say about the society you live in? ›

"Parasite" is a social critique of Korean society, in which the stereotype of a poor but united family and that of a wealthy but dysfunctional family remain visible, as well as how everybody in society plays a role based on their status, adding to the formula the intangible divisions between social strata.

How does the movie Parasite represent the concept of inequality? ›

These social inequalities reflect a social phenomenon in the real world which becomes the motives for fraudulent and greedy character and gradually leads to criminal actions. The gaps between both families are demonstrated in some aspects, such as economy and work, education, house, food, and fashion.

What lesson does Parasite teach? ›

Greed is the main motif in Parasite and we have the chance to observe how toxic it is. The family who is living in poverty, motivated by greed, take an opportunity to exploit the wealth and naiveté of the rich. Kims believe that bad things happen only to them and that “it is easier to be nice when you are rich”.

What happens Parasite summary? ›

The film, starring Song Kang-ho, Lee Sun-kyun, Cho Yeo-jeong, Choi Woo-shik, Park So-dam, Jang Hye-jin, Park Myung-hoon, and Lee Jung-eun, follows a poor family who scheme to become employed by a wealthy family and infiltrate their household by posing as unrelated, highly qualified individuals.

What is the climax of Parasite movie? ›

In Parasite's climax, the Kim family — father Ki-taek, mother Chung-sook, daughter Ki-jeong, and son Ki-woo — attend a house party for the young son of their employers, the Park family. The event quickly goes south, breaking down into a vivid representation of class warfare.

What does the rain symbolize in Parasite? ›

Rain as a symbol represents both the wealthy and the poor. Rain is a blessing to the wealthy but it is a curse to the poor, as it brings disasters (flooding). Underground is related to Kim's family home, who live in a cramped semi-basement space in a crowded complex.

What does the smell symbolize in Parasite? ›

In Parasite smell rouses rawer emotions: anger, distrust, discomfort and a dark sense of foreboding. Something closer to the raw truth. Bong layers rich visuals, but smell remains the film's emotive core. He is well aware of how smell can evoke memories.

What did the rock symbolize in Parasite? ›

In Parasite, Min-hyuk tells Ki-woo that the rock is meant to bring the Kim family good luck and great wealth.

What social inequality does the Parasite film exposed? ›

Bong Joon-ho makes this film based on social class inequality; it is about the story of poverty and the different treatment between rich and poor. More like this film satirizes the social lives of the society metaphorically or abstractly, which is why there is a connection to Marxism theory and parasite.

What life lessons and values can we get from the movie Parasite? ›

One review stated that Parasite outlines how the working class are forced into conflict against one another, fighting for scraps, while families like the Parks live a comfortable life, fueled by the labor of the many individuals working beneath them.

What does the basement symbolize in Parasite? ›

The Kim's hope it will kill those parasites living off of them – the cockroaches and water bugs. In these garish opening moments, Bong introduces his film's main themes and some of the symbolism at play. That sub-basement apartment represents the Kims' station in life.

What does the two families represent in the cover in Parasite movie? ›

In Parasite, a film allegorizing the “parasitic,” borderline symbiotic relationship between the upper class (represented by the Park family) and the lower class (represented by the Kim family), Bong argues that these two classes depend on one another in an unhealthy relationship.

What is the symbolism of Parasite? ›

Parasite's message isn't particularly subtle; the meaning is right there in the title, yet some seem to be misinterpreting the story as a condemnation of the working class, rather than an anti-capitalist narrative that depicts the wealthy as parasitic, and the working class as, quite literally, struggling to keep their ...

Why is Parasite called Parasite? ›

A parasite is an organism that lives on or in a host organism and gets its food from or at the expense of its host.

Who is the main character of Parasite? ›


Is Parasite true story? ›

But while the Oscar-winning film Parasite is a work of fiction, the apartment is not. They're called banjiha, and thousands of people live in them in South Korea's capital, Seoul. Julie Yoon, of BBC Korean, went to meet some of them, to find out what life is like there.

Does Parasite end happily? ›

The film ends with Ki-woo narrating the aftermath: He awakens in the hospital from head injuries only to have his Miranda rights read to him. He's charged and on probation with his mother; his sister, Ki-jung, has died; their father long disappeared and his whereabouts unknown.

What is the meaning of Parasite ending? ›

The bleakness of the ending is that the only way to free Ki-taek is impossible. Granted, he could just turn himself in, but then he'd just be in another prison or he'd get the death penalty, so he may as well stay in the basement. The prison of wealth is what entraps the Kims in the first place.

What is the setting of Parasite? ›

The events unfold in a single house, examining the complex class dynamics between two economically disparate families. In the film, the house is located in Seoul, owned by the wealthier family in the story and designed by fictional architect Namgoong Hyeonja.

What is the resolution of Parasite movie? ›

Technical Specifications
Runtime2 hr 12 min (132 min)
CameraArri Alexa 65, Arri Prime DNA Lenses
Negative FormatCodex
Cinematographic ProcessARRIRAW (6.5K) (source format) Digital Intermediate (4K) (master format) Dolby Vision (2021 4K Ultra HD Blu-Ray release)
Printed Film FormatD-Cinema
3 more rows

Why was the toilet high in Parasite? ›

Prior to moving in, she was very concerned about the apartment's toilet, which sits much higher than the floor in order to prevent flooding. “My bathroom has stairs just like that place,” Kim said, referring to the basement toilet in the film that spews out filthy sludge during a flood that destroys the house.

Why are the eyes covered in Parasite? ›

The white and black bars covering the eyes of the Parks and Kim, respectively, represent the way the two families are portrayed as opposites throughout the film. Overall, it's an impressive poster, but overshadowed by many ones that follow.

What does the peach symbolize in Parasite? ›

When a peach shows up in films like Call Me By Your Name or Parasite, it more often than not means there's trouble on the horizon. Its velvety texture, tender flesh and summery sweet taste works as a deceitful temptation, more often than not leading to pitiful misfortune. Call it the new forbidden fruit.

What does the flood symbolize in Parasite? ›

The flood sequence is the turning point for the Kims, and not because all of their possessions are destroyed, but because of the sharp contrast between their situation at the beginning and at the end of the same night.

Why was Parasite so influential? ›

Three important elements, enabled by digital technology and connectivity, have led to the globalisation of Korean culture: the growth of domestic creative industries, the highly-networked audiences, and the adaptive cultural content. Parasite's global recognition has been translated into its commercial success.

How did Parasite change the film industry? ›

Parasite made movie history by becoming the first non-English language film to win the best picture Oscar. It also marked the first time since 1955 that the winner of the Cannes Film Festival's Palme d'Or also took the top film award at the Oscars.

Does the movie Parasite reflects our contemporary society? ›

Parasite is set in the modern capitalist moment where many feel the world may be teetering on the edge economically, politically, and socially. Within this context, we may all be parasites with the need to live under, on and with others in order to survive.

Why are the eyes blocked in Parasite? ›

The white and black bars covering the eyes of the Parks and Kim, respectively, represent the way the two families are portrayed as opposites throughout the film.

What does the rock symbolize in Parasite? ›

In Parasite, Min-hyuk tells Ki-woo that the rock is meant to bring the Kim family good luck and great wealth.

What are the adaptation evolved by Parasite in accordance with their lifestyle? ›

a Parasites have evolved the following adaptations. i Loss of unnecessary sense organs. ii Presence of hook/adhesive organs and suckers. iii Loss of digestive system.

What social inequality does the film Parasite exposed? ›

Bong Joon-ho makes this film based on social class inequality; it is about the story of poverty and the different treatment between rich and poor. More like this film satirizes the social lives of the society metaphorically or abstractly, which is why there is a connection to Marxism theory and parasite.


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