Thursday, 31 October 2019

The Pleasures and Limits of “Parasite”

Parasite arrived in South African theatres with a strong reputational backing. It won the Palme d’Or, the highest honour at the Cannes Film Festival, becoming the first Korean film to do so. It’s grossed over $100 million (in comparison, Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman made $93 million worldwide last year). And, not insignificantly, Leon van Nierop has been advocating passionately for the movie for weeks, encouraging viewers to see it once, and once again while it’s still in theatres.

It’s definitely an entertaining movie, and, if it were in English, there’d be very little about it that would be niche or unappealing to a mass audience. In fact, my friends and I went to see it at the upstairs Ster Kinekor movies at Brooklyn Mall, not at Cinema Nouveau, where it was expected to play. The movie is in Korean throughout, with English subtitles, and is, I think, every bit as enjoyable to an English-speaking audience as to a Korean one.