Bong Joon-ho and Han Jin-won just made Oscar history. The Parasite screenwriters took home South Korea’s first-ever Academy Award on Sunday night (February 9), kicking off what could be a magical night for the BongHive.
The Korean writer-director took to the podium in a state of shock. “Great honor,” he said in English, before delivering the rest of his speech in his native Korean. “Writing a script is always such a lonely process. We never write to represent our countries,” he said via his translator, Sharon Choi. He paused and then added in English: “But this is very first Oscar to South Korea.”
Before ceding the mic to Han, he thanked his wife “for always being an inspiration” and his Parasite cast, many of whom joined him at the 2020 Oscars, “for bringing this film to life.”
Han shared the Oscar with his fellow Korean writers and filmmakers, specifically referencing the Chungmuro area of Seoul which is home to the South Korean film industry. “I’d like to share this honor with all of the storytellers and filmmakers of Chungmuro,” he said via an interpreter.
Bong and Han’s win marks the first time a foreign-language film has won the original screenplay Oscar since Pedro Almodovar was honored for Talk to Her in 2003. And it’s Parasite‘s first major win at this year’s Academy Awards telecast; the social thriller is also nominated for Best Picture, and Bong is nominated for Best Director.