Directors and creators should be bolder when dealing with issues like Anti-Asian violence, said Academy Award-winning director Bong Joon-ho in a Wednesday night interview at Chapman University’s Dodge College in Orange, Calif.
Addressing questions remotely from his Korea home and speaking through a translator, the Parasite director admitted that being so far away, he had an outsider’s perspective. “But 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.”
However, he added, “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.“
Bong said the Spike Lee film was an example of the role creators and artists can play to confront social issues, “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.”