The Clash Between Donald Trump and Academy Award Winner Parasite


Camille Desombre

Lucia Hill, Copy Editor

Parasite is a South Korean black comedy thriller that completely swept the Oscars and left many who doubted the foreign language film’s success in shock. The film, directed by Bong Joon-ho, follows a family living below the poverty line in Seoul as they scheme their way into becoming employed by an extremely wealthy yet extremely gullible family. The film is chock full of both subtle and obvious signs of the inequalities between the two families. These inequalities drive the plot of the film, which grows darker and darker as it progresses. 

The title of the film, Parasite, was chosen by Bong on the basis of it serving a double meaning. While it applies to the poor family creeping into and infiltrating the rich household, one could also say that it applies to the wealthy family, since they also rely on the other family’s labor. The various examples throughout the movie show them being unable to drive themselves, cook, or even wash dishes, leeching entirely off of the poor family’s work ethic. Thus, both sides are considered parasites.

Parasite swept the American award shows, becoming the first non-English language film in Academy Awards history to win Best Picture. Despite the overwhelming support of the brilliantly layered social thriller, there were still some who detested the idea of having language diversity in the American cinema world. 

At a rally in Colorado, President Donald Trump mocked the Academy Awards, saying, “And the winner is a movie from South Korea. […] We got enough problems with South Korea, on trade, and on top of it they give it the best movie of the year. Was it good?” Neon, the distributor of Parasite, tweeted out a reaction to Trump’s comments: “Understandable, he can’t read.”