Biologically, parasite refers to an organism that lives in or on its host. They steal nutrition from their hosts to sustain their living. However, Bong Joon Ho’s latest movie Parasite gives the term another thought-provoking meaning—humans could be parasites.
The outstanding movie immediately received public praise in Asia when it was released in May 2019, and later it won the Palme d’Or—the highest prize awarded at the Cannes Film Festival. Bong Joon Ho is the director, producer, and writer of the Parasit and he also directed Snowpiercer, Okja, and Memories of Murder.
The movie tells a story of two families—the destitute Kims and the wealthy Parks. The Kims live in a basement. They steal Wi-Fi from neighbors, leave the window open when the pest control truck spread pesticide along the street to kill the bugs in their house, and take whatever they could to survive.
Changes happen when Kim Ki-woo, the son of the family, finds a job as an English tutor for the Parks by faking his college diploma. He then introduces his sister Ki-jeong into the family as an “art therapist”. The siblings frame the driver and housekeeper to put their parents in the family as well. Ironically, the gullible Parks have no idea that the four new employees are from the same family.
Here is where the idea of parasites comes in. The Parks are the hosts, whereas the Kims are parasites.
When the Parks go camping, the Kims occupy the mansion. They take expensive food and alcohol from the fridge, drop glasses on the floor, and act like they own the house. The arrival of the former housekeeper Moon-gwang ruin their family party. She loses her elegant look, knocking on the door in the rain. After the Kims let her in, she opens a secret basement which has been her husband’s home for four years.