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Jumping on the bandwagon

Feb 17,2020
LEE DONG-HYEON
The author is a deputy editor of Industry 1 team of the JoongAng Ilbo.

The speech actor Hwang Jung-min made after receiving the Best Actor award at the Blue Dragon Film Awards in 2005 for “You Are My Sunshine” is still talked about. He said, “When about 60 crew members and actors set up a nice table, only I enjoy my meal and get to have all the spotlight, so I feel sorry.”

People who saw the movie wouldn’t think Hwang had just come to the table and eaten. He acted with all his heart, and the audience laughed and cried because of his performance. He showed the virtue of modesty to ask people to acknowledge the efforts that many people made to complete the film.

Director Bong Joon-ho’s “Parasite” swept the Cannes Film Festival’s Palme d’Or, Golden Globes, British Academy of Film and Television Arts Awards and Oscars. It was the first time since “Marty” in 1956 for a film to win both the Palme d’Or, which is considered the highest honor in cinematic arts, and an Academy Award for Best Picture, the pinnacle of commercial cinema. It is also the first film in a language other than English to win the Best Picture award.

Even before the celebration is over, I hear people jumping on the bandwagon. The ruling Democratic Party made a promise to introduce an unemployment insurance system for people in arts and culture, while the opposition party wants to establish a film museum dedicated to Bong in his hometown of Daegu. They also use the accomplishments of “Parasite” to attack each other. They are reminded of the cultural blacklist of the Park Geun-hye administration and criticize each other.

The success of “Parasite” does not guarantee an overnight improvement in the treatment of people in arts and culture. Those who were related to the past administration’s persecution of arts and culture are also entitled to praise the movie as citizens.

The first step to encourage the filmmakers to spend sleepless nights for the comprehensive art of cinema is to offer them support and applause. Unnecessary attempts to ride on the success of “Parasite” are simply an insult to them.