The South Korean film is the first feature film in a foreign language to win the prize.
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Parasites has given the great bell of the evening at the Dolby Theater. South Korean production has become the first non-English-speaking feature film in 92 years of Oscar history to obtain the golden statuette for Best Film , the highest honor awarded by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) of Hollywood.
Bong Joon-ho's film competed in the main three against eight other acclaimed productions: 1917 , by Sam Mendes – the big favorite that came with all the other awards of the season; Joker , by Todd Phillips; Jojo Rabbit , from Taika Waititi; The Irish , by Martin Scorsese; Story of a marriage , by Noah Baumbach; Little Women , by Greta Gerwig; Once upon a time … in Hollywood , by Quentin Tarantino and Against the impossible , by James Mangold.
At the conclusion of the ceremony, the acclaimed film won a total of 4 awards. Parasites becomes the first film to win as Best Film and Best International Film (it was the first South Korean production nominated in the category), in addition to winning the awards for Best Direction for Bong Joon-ho and Best Original Screenplay for Bong Joon-ho and Jin Won Han. The film was also nominated for Best Edition and Best Production Design.
Previously, eleven films spoken predominantly in a language (s) other than English – five of which won as Best Foreign Film – had competed for the Oscar for Best Film: The Great Illusion (1937); Z (1979); The emigrants (1971); Shouts and Whispers (1972); The mailman (1994); Life is beautiful (1997); The tiger and the dragon (2000); Letters from Iowa Jima (2006); Babel (2006); Amour (2012) and Rome (2018).
Parasites had already made history in May 2019 by becoming the first film in the Asian country to obtain the prestigious Golden Palm of the Cannes Film Festival, whose jury was chaired by Alejandro González Iñárritu. With this, it becomes just the third film in history to win the Palme d'Or and the Oscar for Best Film. In the past, the feat had been achieved by Days Without Footprint (1945), by Billy Wilder (when the award was still known as the Grand Prix of the International Film Festival); and Marty (1955), by Delbert Mann.
Other milestones during the awards season in the West include his victory at the Actors Guild Awards (SAG Awards), becoming the first film in a language other than English to win the coveted award for Best Cast. The film also dominated the category of Best Foreign Film with the National Board of Review, the Golden Globes , the BAFTA and the Independent Spirit Awards , among others.
Parasites tells us the story of a poor family in Seoul, whose fate changes when one of their children gets a job as a tutor for a wealthy family. Using their ingenuity, each of the remains of their relatives obtain different jobs in the Park house, without them noticing that their workers are related by blood. Challenging film conventions, Bong questions institutions and points out social inequalities with the unique combination of black humor, drama and suspense that has characterized his filmography.