“Parasite” is a Korean-produced movie that portrays the daily lives of two families with contrasting social conditions. One is rich and the other is poor. It is as comedic as it is thrilling. It is directed by Bong Joon-ho. He confessed that his only desire was for Koreans to take notice of it and make them socially aware about the diverse living conditions that pervade his country. Little did he know that “Parasite” would transcend the borders of South Korea and attract worldwide attention.
During the Oscars awards night, “Parasite” garnered the Best Picture and Best Director awards. This is historic because it is the first time that a Best Picture award is conferred on a foreign film. Not once in the history of the Oscar’s had it ever bestowed a Best Picture on foreign movies or those that were not produced in Hollywood.
This historic feat makes Koreans happy. It makes Asians happy. It makes us happy because, as Filipinos, we can relate to the plot of the film. The success of “Parasite” is a testimony that there are things that are best said and done outside America.
However, not everybody is happy about the success of “Parasite.” U.S. President Donald Trump expressed dissatisfaction over the results of the Oscar’s awards night, particularly the Best Picture. He claims that “Parasite” does not fall within the category of “Gone with the Wind” or such other classic Hollywood movies produced in the past. He’d rather that an American film won the best picture award.
Coming from the U.S. President, the most powerful man in the world, his comment deserves scant consideration. Thank God he was not a judge during the Oscar’s night. If he was, he would have done injustice to the Koreans, he would have been unfair to the Asians.
We can’t blame him. Trump seems to have a comment on every matter that happens in his country. He is rabid when it comes to politics and is intense when criticizing persons and situations that he perceives are un-American. He is the epitome of the White Supremacist who advances the idea that Americans are better than any other human beings in this world.
Trump is supposed to be a role model, not only for his country but also for the other citizens of the world. This is so because his country is the only “superpower” nation in the universe. No other country comes close to the might and power of the U.S. As a gesture of humility, the least that its leader can do is to tone down his viciousness and treat all others as his equal.
But no. Trump makes known to the world his insights and prejudices against other races. He thumbs down the minorities in his country insisting that they are siphoning the economy. He wants all that America can produce to be for Americans. Is he a racist? Maybe, maybe not.
Was he not the one who proposed to build a giant wall that will separate and create a border between U.S. and Mexico? Was he not the one who deported thousands and thousands of immigrants who, for years, contributed to the development of his country? Was he not the one who caused his political opponents to be spied upon so that he will have a leverage against them during the election period? No wonder, he does not have any love lost for Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House of Congress of the U.S. legislature.
The thing with Trump is that he makes his observations exciting and exhilarating. He has a gift of gab. He coins words that can conceal his prejudices and judgments. His voice is far from being a baritone. It is as functional as a machine. He plucks his phrases out of nowhere and by the time the people he is conversing with realize it, he has them glued to what he is saying. He may not be believable but he is hypnotic.
Should any other movie that was nominated won over “Parasite” because Trump says so? There are matters in this world that are beyond the reach of the most powerful man in the world. The selection of best picture and best movie is one of them. Trump may say otherwise but, his judgment is immaterial.
Whether it is a Korean movie or any other movie produced by other countries, it is a welcome relief that “Parasite” broke the chain of American dominance, even if only in the area of the movies. Surely, others will follow suit in the future. This, therefore, will dispel the notion of Trump that only Americans can excel in any chosen field.