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Senior Citizen Kane: Parasite

Bong Joon-ho

Director Bong Joon-ho (Okja, Snowpiercer) brings his work home to Korea in this pitch-black modern fairytale, which has garnered six Oscar nominations, including Best Picture and Best International Film. By turns darkly hilarious and heartwrenching, Parasite is a cinematic wonder by a modern master at the top of his game.

"...without a doubt one of the must-see films of the year."

Kim Ki-taek (the wonderful Song Kang-ho) is a good-for-nothing, unemployed family man, patriarch of a family of schemers – his wife Chung-sook, his clever twenty-something daughter Ki-jung, and his feckless son Ki-woo – who live in an overcrowded, sordid basement flat. The Parks, on the other hand, live in a pristine, architecturally designed house with their teenage daughter Da-hye and spoiled young son Da-song. When Ki-woo is hired by the Parks to be the private English tutor of Da-hye, a symbiotic relationship begins to form between the two families. The Kims provide ‘indispensable’ luxury services while the Parks obliviously bankroll their entire household. Life is sweet for a while, until a parasitic interloper threatens the Kims’ newfound comfort and a savage, underhanded battle for dominance breaks out, threatening to destroy the fragile ecosystem between the two families.

Politically charged, Parasite movesq uickly from one tone to another, mixing pathos and satire with thrills and drama, in a perfectly controlled blend of many different genres. A story of class struggle, it observes and dissects with surgical precision the life of two families of different social backgrounds. Bong himself has described it as “a comedy without clowns and a tragedy without villains.” Gripping from beginning to end, this is without a doubt one of the must-see films of the year.