Bong Joon Ho’s “Parasite” made history at the 92nd Academy Awards Sunday night, winning the Oscar for best original screenplay, best international feature, best director and best picture (the first foreign language film to take the top prize). And as the cast and crew celebrated in Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre, so too did South Korea.
President Moon Jae In tweeted a congratulatory message, writing, “I join all Koreans in congratulating the film ‘Parasite’ for winning Oscars in four categories at the Academy Awards … I am especially grateful to them instilling pride and courage in our people as we come together to weather difficulties.”
He added, “An amusing yet sad movie, ‘Parasite’ also conveys social messages in a novel, outstanding and successful way. It reminds us of how touching and powerful a movie can be. 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.” See the President’s tweet below:
— The Office of President Moon Jae-in (@TheBlueHouseENG) February 10, 2020
It’s unclear what “difficulties” Moon was referring to, but ongoing tensions with North Korea — where all films are supervised by the ruling political party — are a good guess.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, South Korea’s political parties also issued congratulatory statements.
The ruling Minjoo Party said “a new chapter of Korean film has opened, calling the Oscar wins “a historical event which illustrates that Korean film has reached a world-class standard, and it shows the strength of Koreans and Korean culture to the world.”
Ji Sang Wook, the chief spokesperson of the opposition New Conservative Party, wrote, “Finally Korean movie posters with golden Oscar trophies are available all around the world.”
A spokesman for the Party for Democracy and Peace added, “The party hopes that Korean film can expand more widely abroad like K-pop, the beauty industry and K-dramas.”
After winning his first award, director Bong said, “Writing a script is a very lonely process, you never write to represent your country. But this is the very first Oscar for South Korea.”
During the acceptance speeches for Best Picture, executive producer Miky Lee — and vice-chair of the Korean media conglomerate CJ Group — thanked the Korean film audience.
“I really, really, really want to thank our Korean film audience, our moviegoers, who have been really supporting all our movies and never hesitated to give us a straightforward opinion of what they feel like the movies. That made us really never able to be complacent and keep pushing the directors and the creators and keep pushing the envelope,” Lee said.
“Without you, our Korean film audience, we are not here,” she said.
Relive “Parasite’s” history-making win below: