Subversives: Parasite

  • Thursday, October 15, 2020 / 7:00 PM - 8:15 PM
  • With Kyung Hyun Kim (East Asian Studies and Visual Studies, UC Irvine)
  • Writer/Director: Bong Joon Ho
    Starring: Song Kang-ho, Lee Sun-kyun, Choi Woo-shik

After faking his way into a job as a tutor for the wealthy Park family, Kim Ki-woo (Choi Woo-shik) begins looking for employment opportunities for his family members as well. Gradually, the affluent Park family and the street-smart Kim family become increasingly enmeshed in work and life. With its shrewd depiction of class conflict and darkly hilarious narrative, Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite has met with enormous critical and commercial success.

Kyung Hyun Kim (East Asian Studies and Visual Studies, UC Irvine) will join moderator Sowon S. Park (English, UCSB) for a virtual discussion that examines the film’s complex cultural critiques and subversive themes.

Parasite can be streamed on Amazon Prime Video, Google PlayHulu, and Vudu.

This virtual event will take place on Zoom. The event is free but prior registration is required.



Kyung Hyun Kim (East Asian Studies and Visual Studies, UC Irvine)

Kyung Hyun Kim is a professor of East Asian Studies and Visual Studies at UC Irvine. He has published two single-author books on Korean cinema: The Remasculinization of Korean Cinema (Duke University Press in 2004) and Virtual Hallyu: Korean Cinema of the Global Era (2011, Duke University Press). He has also published three co-edited volumes on Korean popular culture and Asian cinema, and a Korean-language novel. He is currently completing his third book monograph called Hegemonic Mimicry: Korean Popular Culture of the 21st Century.


Moderator Sowon S. Park

Sowon S. Park teaches neurocognitive literary criticism, world literature, and European modernism in the English department at UCSB. She has worked as a journalist and TV presenter in Korea and blogs about K-Pop.

This event is sponsored by the Carsey-Wolf Center.


Throughout film history and across the globe, filmmakers have resisted social conventions and attracted the ire of governments and censorship boards. The Carsey-Wolf Center’s fall 2020 and winter 2021 screening series will showcase films considered politically, socially, culturally, and ideologically subversive. From mischievous caricatures to biting social critiques, the films in this series invite discussion of the efficacy of subversion and the historical contexts that have rendered these works subversive in the first place.