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‘Parasite’ Director Bong Joon-Ho Makes Case For Subtitles In Golden Globes Speech

One line from his speech spawned plenty of jokes on Twitter.

The buzz around “Parasite” hit a fever pitch at the 77th annual Golden Globes on Sunday, when the South Korean thriller took home the prize for Best Foreign Language Film.

The win was a stand-out moment, both for South Korea ― it’s the country’s first-ever win at the awards show ― and for a poignant point made by director Bong Joon-Ho.

The 50-year-old filmmaker used his acceptance speech as an opportunity to urge North Americans to watch more international cinema.

“Once you overcome the one-inch-tall barrier of subtitles, you will be introduced to so many more amazing films,” he told the crowd in Korean, translated by fellow director Sharon Choi.

It’s been a long time since a subtitled film mesmerized western viewers like “Parasite” has. The R-rated flick about class inequality earned $23.9 million in North America, making it the highest-grossing foreign-language movie last year.

The movie was also nominated for Golden Globes in Best Director and Best Screenplay, and is expected to be a strong contender for best International Feature Film at this year’s Oscars.

Twitter got cheeky

Social media users were quick to interpret the filmmaker’s light-hearted jab at North America’s reluctance to support non-English movies into jokes about illiteracy.

It was also noted that Bong’s translated line was more feisty than its original delivery.

Bong capped off his speech with another excellent observation on the universality of movies.

“I think we use just one language: the cinema. Thank you,” he said.

“Parasite” was in the spotlight at another big show this weekend. Park So-dam, who plays Ki-jeong in the film, performed her character’s infamous “Jessica Jingle” at South Korea’s Golden Disc Awards.

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