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Lordships and parasites

Regissør: Joon-ho Bong

GOLD PALM WINNER: Modern class divisions are strongly present in this year's Film from the South opening film Parasite, which is a bubbling and biting social satire you should not know too much about in advance.

The class differences in the world have not exactly decreased in recent years, which is also reflected in both feature films and TV series. Here at home has the NRK series Exit by Øystein Karlsen great success with his portrayal of young, powerful and totally unscrupulous financial acrobats, which also makes a point out of their (mis-) use of Asian aupair, while British Ken Loach participated in the main competition of this year Cannes festival with his new movie Sorry We Missed You, which premieres in Norwegian cinemas now in November. Here, the old social-realist traveller tells about the relatively new work situation where one is hired as a "consultant" instead of as a payee, in this case as a package messenger responsible for his own van and all other forms of expenses.

Perhaps not quite unlike the terms Foodora's bid recently went against, without me claiming that Foodora has been just as exploitative as the fictional (but not necessarily untrustworthy) company in Loach's film.


This year's winner of the Gold Palm in Cannes, however, was South Korean filmmaker Joon-ho Bong's Parasite, which is the opening film at Film from the South Festival in Oslo this month. (Otherwise, the film will receive an ordinary movie premiere at the end of January.) Joon-ho Bong has commented on, among other things The Host (2006), which is a very entertaining monster movie with far more charm and playfulness than can be found in the comparable latest Godzilla films.

His really big breakthrough came with international production Snowpiercer from 2013, a post-apocalyptic science-fiction fable with a clear climate message and clear inspiration from filmmaker Terry Gilliam, and names like Chris Evans, Tilda Swinton, John Hurt and Ed Harris on the cast.

The film's action took place on a long, constantly moving train, where the presumably the only surviving humans stayed after Earth became an uninhabitable isthmus – organized in an extreme, new class divide.

Whitish lies

The class perspective is also strongly present in Joon-ho Bong's latest film. Parasite is about a disadvantaged South Korean family consisting of mother, father and two grown children. In their cramped basement apartment, they try to make ends meet by folding. . .

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Aleksander Huser
Huser is a regular film critic in Ny Tid.

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