On June 18th the North Korean news site DPRK Today published a piece praising "Parasite". Specifically, the piece claims that the film is an excellent dramatization of the corruption inherent in capitalist culture, where lower classes have to live without hope or future.
The piece demonstrates much nuanced knowledge about the nature of the South Korean film industry. It mentions, for example, that part of the film's popularity can be attributed to lead actor Song Kang-ho, who has long been a popular headliner for major South Korean blockbusters. The piece also makes a point of how the central appeal of "Parasite" lies in its fundamentally humorous contrast between the run down tenement and the luxurious mansion the two families live in.
However, the piece nonetheless insists that the movie's central appeal lies in its discussion of class conflict, which has indeed been central to much of the movie's positive reception. Where the DPRK Today piece differs from the movie's more generic praise worldwide is how it states directly that "Parasite" is depicting an unjust society which is rich in theory, but in practice almost all of the wealth goes straight to the richest in the society for little apparent purpose.
For North Korean media to discuss "Parasite" at all is somewhat surprising, as technically it, like other South Korean media, is illegal to watch in North Korea. The opposite is also true - South Koreans are prevented by government firewalls from accessing the DPRK Today website via local IP addresses.
Written by William Schwartz
Staff writer. Has been writing articles for HanCinema since 2012, having lived in South Korea since 2011. Started out in Gyeongju, then to Daegu, then to Ansan, then to Yeongju, then to Seoul, lived on the road for HanCinema's travel diaries series in the summer of 2016, and is currently settled in Anyang. Has good tips for utilizing South Korea's public bus system. William Schwartz can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org. He also has a substack at williamschwartz.substack.com where he discusses the South Korean film industry in broader terms and takes suggestions for future movies to review.
"[HanCinema's News] North Korean News Site DPRK Today Responds to "Parasite""
by HanCinema is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
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