Hit film Parasite exposes sad truths about South Korea class struggle

Golden Globe award-winning Parasite is sore reminder of country's widening income gap and daily strife of the poor

In the Kims' home, the toilet bowl is perched on a flight of stairs to mitigate the low water pressure and accessing the Internet means getting as close as possible to the ceiling in their apartment to steal their upstairs neighbour's Wi-Fi signal. P
In the Kims' home, the toilet bowl is perched on a flight of stairs to mitigate the low water pressure and accessing the Internet means getting as close as possible to the ceiling in their apartment to steal their upstairs neighbour's Wi-Fi signal. PHOTO: GOLDEN VILLAGE PICTURES
In the Kims' home, the toilet bowl is perched on a flight of stairs to mitigate the low water pressure and accessing the Internet means getting as close as possible to the ceiling in their apartment to steal their upstairs neighbour's Wi-Fi signal. P
In Parasite, son Ki-woo of the poor Kim family gets a job as an English tutor in the rich Park household. He then plots to get his sister, father and mother to work for the Parks. The film by director Bong Joon-ho is hailed as a brilliant black comedy on South Korea's class divide. PHOTO: ASSOCIATED PRESS
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Imagine living in a block where home is an apartment that is half below ground and the toilet cistern is perched on a flight of stairs to mitigate the low water pressure.

The view through the only window in the apartment is of drunks stopping to relieve themselves and, because of a lack of sunlight, fresh laundry always smells musty.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on January 12, 2020, with the headline Hit film Parasite exposes sad truths about South Korea class struggle. Subscribe