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'Parasite' Draws Unprecedented Interest for Korean Film in Japan

2020/02/24 Source

Reporters pack a press conference for Bong Joon-ho's film "Parasite" in Tokyo on Sunday.

Director Bong Joon-ho's Oscar-winning film "Parasite" has proved its popularity in Japan, with media packing a press conference to discuss the film despite soured bilateral relations and the coronavirus scare.

Some 200 reporters attended the press conference hosted by the Japanese Press Club in Tokyo on Sunday to hear what Bong and actor Song Kang-ho had to say about the film.

Japanese media have shown great interest in "Parasite" since the film won four major awards at this year's Academy Awards -- best picture, best director, best original screenplay and best international feature.

"Parasite" has become the biggest box office hit in Japan for a Korean film, attracting over 2.2 million viewers and earning 3 billion yen in ticket sales as of Sunday. 

When asked to explain the film's success in Japan, Bong answered, "I don't know. It's a question I would like to ask you. The entire world is experiencing social polarization and fear about the future. I'm not a pessimist, but I wanted to candidly express the anxiety and fear that everyone is going through".

Song defined the theme of the film as "symbiosis". "The title is "Parasite", but it discusses how we should live and I think that had a global appeal", he said. "I hope "Parasite" can serve as an opportunity to boost cultural exchanges between the two countries".

Bong also discussed his goal as a filmmaker, saying, "It's embarrassing to share, but I have a delusional aim of making a classic that will have a place in the history of cinema".


"Parasite" is directed by Bong Joon-ho, and features Song Kang-ho, Lee Sun-kyun, Cho Yeo-jeong, Choi Wooshik, Park So-dam, Lee Jung-eun. Release date in Korea: 2020/02/26.

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