• Fri. Apr 19th, 2024

Sinclair often hosts free screenings of films and documentaries, followed by a brief discussion. On Wednesday, Jan. 31, students and faculty were treated to the film “Parasite,” which was released in 2019, and the first non-English language film to win Best Picture at the Oscars (in fact, the film deservedly won four Oscars that year).

From the very start of the film, viewers are met simultaneously with humor and concern for the wellbeing of the Kim family, who live in a very dirty, destitute home and are required to stand on their toilet to get cell service. Next, we’re shown the intense drive and motivation of the father, Kim Ki-taek (Mr. Kim) when it comes to making sure the family’s needs are met. 

When Min, a wealthy college student who is friends with Kim Ki-woo (Mr. Kim’s son), visits the Kim family, he gives them a viewing stone, which becomes one of the primary symbols throughout the film. Min tells the family that the stone has the ability to give the possessors of it material wealth. 

Mr. Kim holding the viewing stone. Photo Credit: CJ Entertainment

This stone becomes an obsession of Ki-Woo’s, leading him and the rest of the Kim family down a rabbit hole from which escaping, they find, is extremely risky. This spiral of events begins when Min suggests to Ki-Woo that he tutors the Park children in order to make some money. 

What follows is a hilarious, yet chaotic sequence of events that keeps the viewers on the very edge of their seats with their necks craned toward the screen.

‘Parasite’ was the first Korean film to win the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival in France. Photo Credit: CJ Entertainment

Ultimately, “Parasite” cleverly captures themes of socioeconomic status, and the intense disparities between individuals with different degrees of wealth. It calls into question the effect that material things (including money) have on how we behave towards one another. Movie goers are left with the question of what, not who, the Parasite really is.

In sobering news, Lee Sun-kyun, the actor who portrays Park Dong-ik (the wealthy patriarch of the Park family) took his life on Dec. 27, 2023. He will be remembered for his light-heartedness and ability to make audiences laugh.

Macey Heys, Managing Editor

(Featured Image by CJ Entertainment)