Gisaengchung (Parasite)

Poster for Gisaengchung (Parasite)

From the director whose films rank amongst the highest grossing in South Korea—includ­ing The Host and Snowpiercer—comes a tragic family comedy (of sorts) unlike any film you have ever seen; there is no one genre to accu­rately describe it.

Bong Joon-ho’s 2019 Palme d’Or winner tells the story of two families: the Kims and the Parks. The Kims are an impoverished fam­ily living in squalor, but they are resourceful. When opportunity strikes, they seize it—and never let go.

After a family friend decides to move to the United States, he encourages Ki-woo (Choi Woo-shik) to replace him as a tutor to the daughter of the wealthy Park family. Ki-woo is unqualified for the job, but forges the cre­dentials he needs with the help of his sister Ki-jung (Park So-dam).

One by one, each member of the Kim family finds their way into servitude to the Parks—without the Parks discovering who they really are. “Rich people are naive,” remarks the patriarch of the Kim family (Song Kang-ho, The Host). The Parks are the source of survival for the Kims now. There is only one family member left to get on board: Kim matriarch Chung-Sook (Chang Hyae-jin).

Nothing can prepare you for what happens next. The film travels through genres seam­lessly to tell a story about greed and social disparity that is tragic (or maybe comedic) on a Shakespearean scale. Bong Joon-ho is giv­ing film lovers a reason to step inside a cinema and see this award-winning opus unfold on the big screen.

“A masterful dissection of social inequality and the psychology of money.” (John Bleasdale, CineVue)

Parasite is a malign delight from start to finish, with a Machiavellian sense of mischief and a cinematic brio that shows Bong revelling in his Hitchcockian control of somewhat Buñuelian material.” (Jonathan Romney, Screen International)

“Bong delivers a stunning return to form with this newest venture, which takes bold leaps between tenors and tone, but holds together beautifully thanks to the director’s unparalleled visual/spatial sophistication, and his unsparing social indictment.” (Ben Croll, TheWrap)