At a campaign rally in Colorado Springs on Thursday night, United States President Donald Trump criticized this month’s Academy Awards, where Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite (2019) became the first non-English language film to win Best Picture, according to The Washington Post. Citing American trade disputes with South Korea, Trump asked, “Can we get Gone with the Wind back, please,” in reference to Victor Fleming’s 1939 Best Picture Oscar winner which has long since fallen out of favor in critical circles for its representation of black Americans. Trump would later go on to admit he doesn’t know whether Parasite is good or not.
Thanks to a positive social media reaction, word-of-mouth recommendations, as well as the filmmaker’s niche audience, Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite (2019) is the rare foreign release to become a hit in the United States, according to Rutgers University’s The Daily Targum. Set in contemporary South Korea, the conflict in the film arises between two families on opposite sides of the income gap and the ways in which prestige, money, and education pose as obstacles in the struggle for capitalistic status and prosperity. The thematic relevance of this narrative to viewers around the world, in addition to the praise the movie has garnered for its visuals and storytelling, have all contributed to its Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film, with some critics calling it the greatest picture of the year.