190523 Bong Joon-Ho
Bong Joon-Ho Image Credit: AP

Oscar-winning filmmaker Bong Joon-Ho has spoken out against the anti-Asian hate in the US, saying that attacks on the minority communities make him feel “quite fearful”.

The ‘Parasite’ director made the comments during an interview at Chapman University’s Dodge College in Orange, California, reported Deadline.

When asked about the incidents of racial discrimination and violence towards Asian people, Bong, who was speaking through a translator from his home in South Korean, said he has an outsider perspective on the issue.

“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 (Black Lives Matter) movement,” he said.

Bong said directors and creators should be bolder when dealing with current issues of the society.

“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,” he said.

“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,” he added.

Referring to filmmaker Spike Lee’s 1989 movie ‘Do The Right Thing’, Bong said the film is a perfect example of how directors can address societal issues through their work.

“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,” he added.

The filmmaker said he tried to follow Lee’s method with his 2019 social satire ‘Parasite’, which became the first South Korean movie to win the Oscar for Best Picture in 2020.

“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,” Bong said.

The South Korean filmmaker’s comments come weeks after six women of Asian descent were among eight people killed by a gunman in a series of shootings at massage parlours in Georgia, US.