Parasite Makes History at the Oscars


Photo courtesy of the New York Post

The cast of Parasite celebrates receiving Best Picture on stage at the 2020 Academy Awards.

Tiana Salisbury, Photojournalist

The South Korean film, Parasite, picked up four Academy Awards at the 2020 Oscars on Sunday, February 9. Not only did this film make Oscars history, but it was also an accomplishment for South Korea.


Parasite takes place in South Korea and highlights the relationship between two families. One of these families, the Kims, is poor and hardly making enough money to support themselves. The other family, the Parks, is much wealthier and does not need to worry about how their money is spent. One day, the Kims find themselves working for the Parks, who provide them with food, income, and shelter. This film shines a light on the unbalance between social classes, and how one family can become a “parasite” of the other.


According to The Atlantic, Parasite was nominated for six categories, and out of those six, it won four awards: Best Original Screenplay, Best International Film, Best Director, and Best Picture. Parasite had tough competition with other films for each of these awards, which included Joker, Ford v Ferrari, Little Women, and 1917


Upon receiving his awards, director Bong Joon Ho thanked the cast of his film and his competitors for Best Director. The Hollywood Reporter states that Bong Joon Ho wished to “split the award into five” with a chainsaw so it could be shared with the other nominees. He also shared a quote by Martin Scorsese, which said, “The most personal is the most creative.” This quote inspired Bong Joon Ho to create films while he was studying cinema in school, and continues to influence his works today.


The most notable accomplishment that Parasite achieved was the Best Picture award. According to CNN, Parasite was the first non-English film and first South Korean film to win this award. Throughout the history of the Academy Awards, only eleven international films were ever nominated for Best Picture. After 92 years, Parasite became the first foreign film to win the category. Another one of Parasite’s accomplishments is the number of awards it received. NBC News states that Parasite tied Walt Disney for taking home the most Academy Awards in one night. 

The 2020 Academy Awards definitely surprised everyone, with Parasite winning four Oscars and making film history. This will hopefully lead to more international films being nominated for Academy Awards in the future. Megan Chou (9) agrees and says, “it is really cool to see an international film win Best Picture at the Oscars and hopefully more films from across the world have the same opportunity.”