Asia Minute: South Korea Celebrates Success of “Parasite”

Feb 11, 2020

The Oscar success of the South Korean film “Parasite” has gotten a lot of publicity around the world. An editorial in the South China Morning Post said it “should pave the way for more offerings from different cultural perspectives.” And then there was the reaction from South Korea.

It takes a lot to knock the coronavirus off the top spot of news sites in Asia. “Parasite’s” four Oscars did that when the news broke Monday local time in South Korea.

It’s a new level of international recognition for Korean entertainment — building on the long success of television dramas exported to the rest of Asia and the United States, and the more recent global explosion of music super-group BTS.

The English language version of the JoongAng Daily captured the spirit of shared national pride with its headline “Parasite and Korea Triumphant.”

The government sponsored English language Arirang TV praised the film’s “Korean take on the global issue of inequality.”

South Korean President Moon Jae-in tweeted his gratitude to director Bong Joon-Ho “for giving courage and pride to our people who are overcoming difficulties.”

The opposition Liberty Korea Party referenced the coronavirus more directly, noting the Oscars were “happy news, like welcome rain, to the Republic of Korea, which is depressed, stagnant and thrown into despair due to the Wuhan pneumonia.”

The Seoul Metropolitan Government took a more positive approach, posting pictures of “selected locations” in the city that appear in “Parasite” — targeting a specific tourism market with explanations in English.