South Koreans reacted with joy and stunned disbelief Monday to the historic best picture Oscar for Parasite, with one film fan suggesting the feat should be recognized with a public holiday.
Director Bong Joon-ho’s movie—about the widening gap between rich and poor—became the first non-English-language film to win Hollywood’s biggest prize, prompting celebrations in South Korea.
Even President Moon Jae-in got in on the act, saying he was overjoyed to see South Korean cinema receive world recognition.
“I extend my gratitude especially for giving a sense of courage and pride to the (Korean) people,” Moon said.
“I am very proud of director Bong Joon-ho and the cast, as well as the staff members.”
K-pop supergroup BTS—who Bong has previously praised—also joined the congratulations.
“Congratulations so so so so so so very much, director Bong Joon-ho,” the members wrote in a tweet.
Parasite won four awards—best picture, best director, best international feature and best original screenplay -- defying the received wisdom that the Academy would overlook a subtitled Asian movie.
South Korean film fans were overjoyed.
“I am in tears,” one wrote on Twitter. “I’m so proud of Bong Joon-ho. It›s amazing to hear acceptance speeches in Korean.”
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