IN BONG JOON-HO'S Parasite, being upper class means loving Western culture—and its colonialism.
Spatial metaphor structures the award-winning dark comedy from the Korean director. Families and living spaces are the primary characters and settings for the film. The poor Kim family lives in a cramped basement apartment, and the rich Park family lives high up in the hills of Seoul.
In the first half of the movie, the Kims’ son Ki-woo is hired as an English tutor for the Parks’ daughter, and the Kims scheme to get each member of their family employed by the Parks. Their plot runs smoothly, and the Kims relax at the Parks’ luxurious home while they are away. But the movie’s clean narrative line drops when a third family and their living arrangement are revealed. The former housekeeper returns to expose a subterranean bomb shelter in the Parks’ home where her husband has been living, unbeknownst to the Parks.
The former housekeeper and her husband sit even lower in the class hierarchy than the Kims by living completely below ground.