Three-time Academy Award winner Bong Joon-ho thinks filmmakers have to do their part to help stamp out hate and racism.
The “Parasite” director recently served as a masterclass guest lecturer for Chapman University’s Dodge College, sharing his thoughts regarding America’s current racial turmoil and discussed what choices the film industry has to confront social issues.
Addressing recent racially-charged violence in the US — including the March 16 mass shooting at Atlanta spas that left eight people dead — Bong admitted to having an “outsider’s perspective,” speaking virtually from his home in South Korea, but reportedly said: “as someone who is a part of mankind, as a person, it’s quite fearful to watch the hate crimes against Asian-Americans and the [Black Lives Matter] movement.”
“I do think about what the film industry can do at this time,” he added, according to Deadline. “With films, creating a film takes a lot of time and a lot of money; it’s a big unit that can’t really respond quickly to issues that are currently happening in society.”
“It’s a medium that’s difficult to use when you are trying to respond in real time,” he furthered. “But ironically, because of that, I think creators and filmmakers can be bolder with dealing with issues and they shouldn’t be afraid to confront them.”
The Korean director cited Spike Lee’s 1989 classic “Do the Right Thing” as an example, saying that while the movie wasn’t made to predict the future, it relied on insight to “portray the issues that are currently boiling underneath the surface of society that can explode later on.”
“For me, ‘Parasite’ was a film where I tried to take that approach,” Bong continued. “… [the film] talks about the haves and have-nots of our current society. It began with a question of ‘what does it mean to be poor or rich in our current times?’”
“As creators and artists,” he continued, “you sort of have to see through the essence and the central questions in our society through the days that you live through and send a reply to those questions through your work.”
Last year, Bong won big at the Oscars with “Parasite,” taking home trophies for best picture, best director and best original screenplay.
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