‘Parasite’ Director Bong-Joon Ho Responds to Anti-AAPI Hate

Bong Joon Ho

Photo by Dick Thomas Johnson via Wikimedia Commons

In recent months, the U.S. has seen an alarming rise in hate crimes against AAPI (Asian American/Pacific Islander) Americans.

Parasite director Bong-Joon Ho was asked his opinion on the topic during a recent Zoom interview with  Chapman University’s Dodge College in Orange County, California.

Living in Korea, Bong-Joon says that he’s a little removed from these U.S. issues. However, he weighed in 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 BLM movement,” he said. “I do think about what the film industry can do at this time. 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.”

Bong-Joon continued: “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. I’m currently thinking of Spike Lee’s Do The Right Thing.

“Not necessarily to predict what will happen in society, but to use your 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… [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, 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.”

It’s an inspiring message that reminds us why we got into filmmaking in the first place: we want to say something important. We want to make a difference and make people reevaluate their position in their community, their society, their country.

You can watch Bong-Joon Ho’s entire interview over at Deadline.

We’d also love to hear about which issues have inspired you to make films. Join the conversation over on our Instagram page! 

Lessons and Tips