Bong Joon-ho’s Film “Parasite” Wins the Palme d’Or at Cannes

First Korean Filmmaker to Win the Award

Still from "Parasite"
Bong Joon-ho's "Parasite"
Neon
By Tobias Carroll / May 27, 2019 6:52 am

This year’s Cannes Film Festival ended with Bong Joon-ho’s satirical drama Parasite winning the Palme d’Or. It was the filmmaker’s first time receiving the award, and the first occasion on which a Korean filmmaker had won. The decision, according to the jury’s president, Alejandro González Iñárritu, was unanimous. Parasite was its director’s second time competing for the Palme d’Or, following 2017’s Okja.

Other winners included Antonio Banderas (Best Actor for Pain & Glory), Emily Beecham (Best Actress, Little Joe), Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne (Best Director for Young Ahmed), Celine Sciamma (Best Screenplay, Portrait of a Lady on Fire), Matt Diop’s Atlantics (Grand Prix), and a tie between Ladj Ly’s Les Misérables and Kleber Mendonça Filho and Juliano Dornelles’ Bacurau for the Jury Prize.

Initial reviews for Parasite have been glowing. At The Guardian, Peter Bradshaw called the film “an enjoyable, elegant, scabrous movie about a mix of servitude and trickery that is an interesting theme in Korean cinema.” In his review of the film, IndieWire’s David Ehrlich wrote, “Bong’s latest offers another compassionate parable about how society can only be as strong as its most vulnerable people.”

And Polygon’s Karen Han was particularly impressed with the film’s handling of class and mood. “The contrast between the delicate balance the characters must maintain and Bong’s bombastic, pull-out-all-the-stops storytelling is a pure adrenaline rush — I was shaking when I left the theater, and remained that way for at least an hour,” she wrote in her review.

Stateside audiences will soon have their own opportunity to decide what they think of the film. Distributor Neon will be releasing Parasite in the United States this fall.

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