A glorious success and smashing box office hit for Korean auteur Bong Joon-ho—who returns home after his foreign adventures in SNOWPIERCER and OKJA (IFFBoston Screening Series 2017)—the Palme d’Or-winning Parasite is a politically charged cinematic wonder.
Described by Bong himself as “a comedy without clowns and a tragedy without villains,” the film moves quickly from one tone to another, mixing pathos and satire with thrills and drama, in a perfectly controlled blend of many different genres.
A vertical story of class struggle—punctuated by staircase scenes going from mouldy basements to top floors, from darkness to breezy spaces designed by star architects—Parasite observes and dissects with surgical precision the life of two families of different social backgrounds.
Ki-taek (Song Kang-ho) is a good-for-nothing, unemployed family man, patriarch of a family of derelicts—his wife Chung-sook (Chang Hyae-jin), his clever twenty-something daughter Ki-jung (Park So-dam), and his son Ki-woo (Choi Woo-shik)—who live in an overcrowded, sordid basement. The Parks, on the other hand, live in a fabulous house with their teenage daughter Da-hye and terribly spoiled son Da-song, who has suffered a childhood trauma that occasionally causes him seizures and strange behaviour. When, due to an unexpected stroke of luck, Ki-woo is hired by the Parks to be the private English tutor of Da-hye, the destinies of the two families cross. Their explosive meeting exposes the merciless evils of class inequalities, culminating in a powerful and utterly original outcome.
—Giovanna Fulvi, Toronto International Film Festival
Thursday, October 107:30
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