S2 E19: Parasite: Up and Down the Class Divide Chasm


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In this episode, hosts Ina and Afra are joined by guest Youfei to talk about Bong Joon Ho’s Parasite, the first Korean film to win the top prize, the Palme d’Or, at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.

The story, contrary to what its title might suggest, is essentially about how a lower-class unemployed family, the Kims, managed to infiltrate an upper-class family, the Parks. It’s a ‘tragicomedy’ that zones in the ever-growing chasm of class divide that we’re witnessing in today’s society -- exemplified here in Korea but its impact and lessons are truly universal, reaching beyond the country where the movie takes place.

Here’s what we talked (nerded out) about:

  • What we liked and disliked the most about the movie
  • Compared it to ‘Burning’, another critically-acclaimed film by a South Korean director that painted a picture of class divide -- how are they different, and in what ways?
  • The all things American are being worshipped in the movie
  • Why is the movie widely received in China and why are people resonating with it?
  • How does the doc portray the two classes in the movie? Is there an issue of overly-stereotyping and portraying characters as caricatures?
  • What are the complicated economic and political drivers behind the societal problem illustrated in this movie?

We hope you enjoy our discussion and tell us what you think of the show and the doc.

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