Parasite (2019 film)

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Parasite (2019 film).jpg
South Korean theatrical release poster
Revised Romanizationgisaengchung
Directed byBong Joon-ho
Produced by
  • Kwak Sin-ae
  • Moon Yang-kwon
  • Jang Young-hwan
Written by
  • Bong Joon-ho
  • Han Jin-won
Music byJeong Jae-il
CinematographyHong Kyung-pyo[1]
Edited byYang Jin-mo
Barunson E&A Corp
Distributed by
Release date
  • 21 May 2019 (2019-05-21) (Cannes)
  • 30 May 2019 (2019-05-30) (South Korea)
Running time
132 minutes[2]
CountrySouth Korea
Budget₩13.5 billion[3]
(~US$11 million)
Box office$90.8 million[4][5][6]

Parasite (Korean기생충; Hanja寄生蟲; RRGisaengchung) is a 2019 South Korean satirical black comedy thriller film directed by Bong Joon-ho.[7] The film stars Song Kang-ho, Lee Sun-kyun, Cho Yeo-jeong, Choi Woo-shik and Park So-dam.[8]

Parasite had its world premiere at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival on 21 May 2019, where it won the Palme d'Or, becoming the first Korean film to receive the award and the first film to win with a unanimous vote since 2013's Blue Is the Warmest Colour.[9][10] It was selected as the South Korean entry for Best International Feature Film at the 92nd Academy Awards.[11][12]


Kim Ki-taek, an unemployed driver, lives with his wife Chung-sook, son Ki-woo and daughter Ki-jeong in a shabby semi-basement apartment. The family struggles to survive, working low-paying gigs such as folding pizza boxes. Ki-woo's friend Min-hyuk visits the family and gives them a large rock supposed to bring them wealth before he leaves to study abroad. He suggests Ki-woo take over his job as an English tutor for the wealthy Park family's youngest daughter, Da-hye. In the lavish Park mansion, Ki-woo is interviewed by Mrs. Park to tutor Da-hye, and is hired after Mrs. Park sees his talents in action. Learning of Mrs. Park's struggle to find an art teacher for her younger child, Da-song, Ki-woo suggests a "professional" named Jessica, who in reality is Ki-jeong. Once hired, Ki-jeong gets Mr. Park's driver fired and replaced with her "Uncle Kim": Ki-taek. The Kims soon get housekeeper Moon-kwang fired, with Choong-sook hired in her place, employing the entire Kim family.

The Parks go on an overnight camping trip, leaving the mansion in Chung-sook's care. The Kims take the opportunity to have a drunken party in the mansion, during which Ki-woo confesses to his family that he is in love with Da-hye. In the middle of their celebration, Moon-kwang rings the bell and claims that she came to retrieve something in the basement. The other Kims hide, then Chung-sook lets Moon-kwang in. Heading to the basement, the former housekeeper opens a secret bunker, revealing that her husband, Geun-sae, has been hiding for four years to avoid loan sharks. As Chung-sook threatens to call the police, the rest of the Kims, eavesdropping, accidentally stumble into view. Moon-kwang quickly records footage of the new "staff" addressing each other as father and children, then threatens to send the clip to the Parks.

The Parks call Chung-sook to announce that the heavy rain has ruined their camping trip, and they will be home soon. The Kims scramble to confine Moon-kwang and Geun-sae, then clean up and hide. Moon-kwang breaks free and runs up into the kitchen, but Chung-sook pushes her down the basement stairs, severely wounding her head. While eating, Mrs. Park tells Chung-sook that her son was traumatized one birthday by what he thought was a ghost coming up from the basement. After a few close calls, the other three Kims leave the mansion undetected. They run back to their apartment, which has been flooded by the storm. They salvage what they can, Ki-woo carrying the large "lucky rock" Min-Hyuk gave his family earlier. The three, along with other displaced citizens, sleep in a gymnasium. Meanwhile, Moon-kwang dies from her concussion as Geun-sae cries.

The following day, Mrs. Park throws a birthday party for Da-song and invites the Kims. During the party, Ki-woo carries the rock down to the bunker, intending to kill Geun-sae. Geun-sae ambushes Ki-woo, cracks his head open with the rock, then crashes the party, where he stabs Ki-jeong in the chest. Geun-sae's sudden appearance triggers Da-song's traumatic memory, causing the child to have a seizure. Ki-taek rushes to stop Ki-jeong's bleeding, while Mr. Park yells at him for the car keys, so Park can drive Da-song to the hospital. The key lands under the fighting Chung-sook and Geun-sae, before Chung-sook kills Geun-sae with a meat skewer. Mr. Park retrieves the key, while recoiling from Geun-sae's "poor man's smell." Ki-taek, witnessing Mr. Park's reaction to the smell, also his own, snaps, fatally stabs him, then flees.

Ki-jeong dies from her wounds, while Ki-woo required brain surgery and suffered a weeks-long coma; he and Chung-sook went to trial and were sentenced to probation. Later, watching the Parks' mansion, Ki-woo notices a light flickering in Morse code – a message from Ki-taek, who managed to retreat into the bunker in the chaos, and has been hiding from and living off of the new owners. Ki-woo promises that one day, he will earn enough money to buy the house and free his father.



Principal photography began on 18 May 2018[14][15] and ended 77 days later, on 19 September 2018.[16]


Director and stars at a press event.

The film had its world premiere at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival on 21 May 2019.[17] It was released in South Korea on 30 May 2019.[2][16]

Neon acquired the North American rights to the film at the American Film Market (AFM) 2018.[18][19] The film's rights were also pre-sold to German-speaking territories (Koch Films), French-speaking territories (The Jokers Films) and Japan (Bitters End).[20] It is scheduled to be released in Russia on 4 July 2019 and in the United States on 11 October 2019.[21]

The film was originally scheduled to be screened as a closing film at FIRST Internationl Film Festival Xining in China on 28 July 2019, but on 27 July, the film festival organizers announced that the screening was cancelled for "technical reasons."[22]


Box office[edit]

As of 14 October 2019, Parasite has grossed $384,216 in the United States and Canada, and $86.6 million in other territories (including $70.9 million from South Korea), for a worldwide total of $87 million.[5]

In its United States opening weekend, film made $376,264 from three theaters. Its per-venue average of $125,421 was the best since La La Land's in 2016, and the best-ever for a foreign-language film.[6]

The film made USD$20.7 million in its opening weekend in South Korea.[4]

Critical response[edit]

On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 99% based on 170 reviews, with an average rating of 9.37/10. The website's critics consensus reads: "An urgent, brilliantly layered look at timely social themes, Parasite finds writer-director Bong Joon Ho in near-total command of his craft."[23] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the film a score of 95 out of 100 based on 35 critics, indicating "universal acclaim".[24]

Writing for The New York Times, A.O. Scott described the film as "wildly entertaining, the kind of smart, generous, aesthetically energized movie that obliterates the tired distinctions between art films and popcorn movies."[25] Bilge Ebiri of NY Mag wrote that Parasite is "a work that is itself in a state of constant, agitated transformation—a nerve-racking masterpiece whose spell lingers long after its haunting final image." [26] In his five-star review of the film, Dave Calhoun of Time Out praised the social commentary and stated that "This is a dazzling work, surprising and fully gripping from beginning to end, full of big bangs and small wonders."[27] Variety's Jessica Kiang described the film as "a wild, wild ride," writing that "Bong is back and on brilliant form, but he is unmistakably, roaringly furious, and it registers because the target is so deserving, so enormous, so 2019: Parasite is a tick fat with the bitter blood of class rage."[28] The A. V. Club's A. A. Dowd gave the film an A−, praising the fun and surprising twists.[29]


Parasite won the Palme d'Or at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival.[30][31]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "BONG Joon-ho's PARASITE Claims Early Sales". Korean Film Biz Zone. Retrieved 3 February 2019.
  2. ^ a b "기생충". Naver Movie. Retrieved 8 April 2019.
  3. ^ 영화 '기생충' 흥행 질주…손익분기점 400만명 눈앞. 3 June 2019.
  4. ^ a b "Parasite". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved 13 October 2019.
  5. ^ a b "Gisaengchung (2019)". The Numbers. Nash Information Services. Retrieved 13 October 2019.
  6. ^ a b D'Alessandro, Anthony (13 October 2019). "'Joker' $55M+ Scores 2nd Weekend October Record, 'Addams Family' Rich $30M+, 'Gemini Man' Still Not Dazzling $20M – Sunday B.O. Update". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 13 October 2019.
  7. ^ "Parasite - Official Website". Parasite - Official Website. NEON. Retrieved 7 October 2019.
  8. ^ "Parasite - Official Website". Parasite - Official Website. NEON. Retrieved 7 October 2019.
  9. ^ Mumford, Gwilym. "Cannes 2019: Bong Joon-ho's Parasite wins the Palme d'Or – live". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 May 2019.
  10. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony; D'Alessandro, Anthony (25 May 2019). "'Parasite' Palme d'Or Winner Bong Joon-Ho On Pic's North Korea Jokes – Cannes".
  11. ^ Kim, Hye-Ju (21 August 2019). "제92회 아카데미영화상 국제장편영화 부문 한국영화 출품작 선정결과 (Selected Results of Korean Films for International Feature Films at the 92nd Academy Film Awards)". Korean Film Council. Retrieved 21 August 2019.
  12. ^ "Oscars: South Korea Selects Palme d'Or Winner 'Parasite' for International Feature Film Award". Variety. 21 August 2019. Retrieved 21 August 2019.
  13. ^ 박서준 측 “봉준호 ‘기생충’ 특별출연” 2019년 스크린 열일(공식입장). (in Korean). Retrieved 3 February 2019.
  14. ^ Kil, Sonia (30 May 2018). "Bong Joon-ho's 'Parasite' Starts Shooting (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved 3 February 2019.
  15. ^ "BONG Joon-ho's PARASITE Enters Production". Korean Film Biz Zone. Retrieved 3 February 2019.
  16. ^ a b "BONG Joon-ho's PARASITE Wraps Production". Korean Film Biz Zone. Retrieved 3 February 2019.
  17. ^ "The Screenings Guide 2019". 9 May 2019. Retrieved 9 May 2019.
  18. ^ McNary, Dave (31 October 2018). "Bong Joon-Ho's Drama 'Parasite' Bought by Neon". Variety. Retrieved 3 February 2019.
  19. ^ "AFM: Neon Nabs Bong Joon-ho's 'Parasite' From CJ Entertainment". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 3 February 2019.
  20. ^ Noh, Jean. "Bong Joon Ho thriller 'Parasite' sells to US, Japan, France". Screen. Retrieved 3 February 2019.
  21. ^ Galuppo, Mia (30 May 2019). "Bong Joon Ho's Palme d'Or Winner 'Parasite' Will Release in Time for Awards Season". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  22. ^ Davis, Rebecca (28 July 2019). "Bong Joon-ho's Palme d'Or Winner 'Parasite' Pulled From China Festival". Variety. Retrieved 30 July 2019.
  23. ^ "Parasite (Gisaengchung) (2019)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved 15 October 2019.
  24. ^ "Parasite Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 15 October 2019.
  25. ^ A.O. Scott. "Old Masters and Fresh Surprises at the New York Film Festival". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 7 October 2019.
  26. ^ Bilge Ebiri. "Bong Joon-ho's Parasite Is a Nerve-Racking Masterpiece". New York Magazine. New York Magazine. Retrieved 7 October 2019.
  27. ^ Dave Calhoun. "Parasite". Time Out. Time Out. Retrieved 7 October 2019.
  28. ^ Jessica Kiang. "Film Review: 'Parasite'". Variety. Variety. Retrieved 7 October 2019.
  29. ^ Dowd, A. A. (10 October 2019). "Parasite May be Bong Joon Ho's Most Thrilling Ride on the Genre-Hopping Snowpiercer Express". The A. V. Club. Retrieved 10 October 2019.
  30. ^ a b Mumford, Gwilym. "Cannes 2019: Bong Joon-ho's Parasite wins the Palme d'Or – live". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 May 2019.
  31. ^ a b D'Alessandro, Anthony; D'Alessandro, Anthony (25 May 2019). "'Parasite' Palme d'Or Winner Bong Joon-Ho On Pic's North Korea Jokes – Cannes".
  32. ^ "2019 춘사영화제, 7월 18일 개최..트로피 주인공 누구?". K Starnews (in Korean). 3 July 2019. Retrieved 3 July 2019.
  33. ^ "[제24회 춘사영화제] 주지훈·조여정, 男女 주연상 '영예'… '기생충' 4관왕 (종합)". Ten Asia (in Korean). 18 July 2019. Retrieved 18 July 2019.
  34. ^ "The ICS Cannes Awards 2019: Fire and Bong". International Cinephile Society. 25 May 2019.
  35. ^ "AWARDS". Sydney Film Festival. 16 June 2019.
  36. ^ "Bong Joon-ho's Parasite wins Sydney Film Festival official competition prize". Sydney Film Festival. 16 June 2019.
  37. ^ Etan Vlessing (15 September 2019). "Toronto: Taika Waititi's 'Jojo Rabbit' Wins Audience Award". The Hollywood Reporter.
  38. ^ "Na štrnástom Cinematiku získal hlavnú cenu film Favoritka". Filmpress. 16 September 2019.

External links[edit]

Award Date of ceremony Category Recipient(s) and nominee(s) Result
Cannes Film Festival[30][31] 25 May 2019 Palme d'Or Bong Joon-ho Won
Chunsa Film Art Awards[32][33] 18 July 2019 Best Director Bong Joon-ho Won
Best Actor Choi Woo-shik Nominated
Song Kang-ho Nominated
Best Actress Cho Yeo-jeong Won
Best Supporting Actor Park Myung-hoon Nominated
Best Supporting Actress Lee Jung-eun Won
Best Screenplay Bong Joon-ho, Han Jin-won Won
International Cinephile Society Cannes Awards[34] 25 May 2019 Best Director Bong Joon-ho Won
Sydney Film Festival[35][36] 16 June 2019 Best Film Parasite Won
Toronto International Film Festival[37] 15 September 2019 Grolsch People's Choice Award Parasite 3rd Place
International Film Festival Cinematik[38] 15 September 2019 Audience Award Parasite Won