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Parasite 2019

Parasite | Gisaengchung


As film industry reviewers, we say Parasite is one of our non-favorite movies. Please VOTE!

Parasite is favorite or unfavorite?

Misplaced familyhood.

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About the Parasite 💬

Joon-ho Bong returns with this black comedy about wealth, greed and class discrimination.

  • Meet Park and Kim Families!

Meet the Park Family: the picture of aspirational wealth. And the Kim Family, rich in street smarts but not much else. Be it chance or fate, these two houses are brought together and the Kims sense a golden opportunity.

  • Act like you own the place.

Masterminded by college-aged Ki-woo (Woo-sik Choi), the Kim children expediently install themselves as tutor and art therapist, to the Parks. Soon, a symbiotic relationship forms between the two families. The Kims provide ''indispensable'' luxury services while the Parks obliviously bankroll their entire household. When a parasitic interloper threatens the Kims' newfound comfort, a savage, underhanded battle for dominance breaks out, threatening to destroy the fragile ecosystem between the Kims and the Parks.


For people of different circumstances to live together in the same space is not easy.

It is increasingly the case in this sad world that humane relationships based on co-existence or symbiosis cannot hold, and one group is pushed into a parasitic relationship with another.

In the midst of such a world, who can point their finger at a struggling family, locked in a fight for survival, and call them parasites?

It's not that they were parasites from the start. They are our neighbors, friends and colleagues, who have merely been pushed to the edge of a precipice.

As a depiction of ordinary people who fall into an unavoidable commotion, this film is:

a comedy without clowns,
a tragedy without villains,

all leading to a violent tangle and a headlong plunge down the stairs.

You are all invited to this unstoppably fierce tragicomedy.

Joon-ho Bong


Q: What is the meaning of the title PARASITE?

Joon-ho Bong: At first, everyone expected that PARASITE would be a creature movie or SF film. Even more so because the title forms a connection with my previous film The Host. But as I have said before, this film's protagonists are family members living in the real world. There are people who hope to live with others in a co-existent or symbiotic relationship, but that doesn't work out, so they are pushed into a parasitic relationship. I think of it as a tragicomedy that depicts the humor, horror and sadness that arise when you want to live a prosperous life together, but then you run up against the reality of just how difficult that can be. It's an ironic title, not unlike the original Korean title of Memories of Murder, which carries the connotation of ''warm, pleasant memories.'' How can one hold warm, nostalgic memories of a murder? Is it wrong to do so? In the same way that film depicts the memories of an era through the Hwaseong serial murder case, PARASITE too carries an ironic nuance in its title.

Q: How would you categorize the genre of PARASITE?

Joon-ho Bong: It's a human drama, but one that is strongly imbued with the contemporary. Although the plot consists of a string of unique and distinctive situations, it is nonetheless a story that could very well take place in the real world. One can see it as taking an incident that was on the news or on social media, and putting it on the screen. So in that sense, it's a quite realistic drama, but I wouldn't object if one were to call it a crime drama, a comedy, a sad human drama, or a horrific thriller. I always try my best to overturn viewer expectations, and I hope PARASITE succeeds in this way.

Q: Who are the families at the center of PARASITE?

Joon-ho Bong: They are a lower-class family living in a squalid semi-basement flat who just hope for an ordinary life, not anything special but even that proves hard to achieve. The father has accumulated numerous business failures, the mother who trained as an athlete has never found particular success, and the son and daughter have failed the university entrance exam on multiple occasions.

In contrast, the family of Mr. Park, who works as the CEO of an IT firm (not connected with any of Korea's chaebol business conglomerates) is a competent, newly rich family. Mr. Park is something of a workaholic. There is his beautiful young wife, and his cute high school-aged daughter and young son. They can be seen as an ideal four-member family among the modern urban elite.

Q: What kind of image of contemporary society did you want to project through this film?

Joon-ho Bong: I think that one way to portray the continuing polarization and inequality of our society is as a sad comedy. We are living in an era when capitalism is the reigning order, and we have no other alternative. It's not just in Korea, but the entire world faces a situation where the tenets of capitalism cannot be ignored. In the real world, the paths of families like our four unemployed protagonists and the Park family are unlikely ever to cross. The only instance is in matters of employment between classes, as when someone is hired as a tutor or a domestic worker. In such cases, there are moments when the two classes come into close enough proximity to feel each other's breath. In this film, even though there is no malevolent intent on either side, the two classes are pulled into a situation where the slightest slip can lead to fissures and eruptions.

In today's capitalistic society there are ranks and castes that are invisible to the eye. We keep them disguised and out of sight, and superficially look down on class hierarchies as a relic of the past, but the reality is that there are class lines that cannot be crossed. I think that this film depicts the inevitable cracks that appear when two classes brush up against each other in today's increasingly polarized society.

Q: What do you hope viewers will get out of this film?

Joon-ho Bong: I just hope that it gives audiences a lot to think about. It is in parts funny, frightening, and sad, and if it makes viewers feel like sharing a drink and talking over all the ideas they had while watching it, I'll wish for nothing more.

Parasite Movie Details 🎥

Directed by

Joon-ho Bong

Writing Credits

Joon-ho Bong

Jin Won Han


Kang-ho Song

Hye-jin Jang

Woo-sik Choi

So-dam Park

Sun-kyun Lee

Yeo-jeong Jo

Ji-so Jung

Hyun-jun Jung

Jeong-eun Lee

Myeong-hoon Park

Seo-joon Park

Keun-rok Park

Music by

Jaeil Jung

Cinematography by

Kyung-pyo Hong

Categories: Oscars, Oscar Academy Award Winner, Golden Globes, Golden Globe Winner, EEBAFTAs, BAFTA Award Nominee

Genres: Comedy, Crime, Drama, Thriller

Country: South Korea

Parasite Official Trailer

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