South Korea hails Bong Joon-ho’s top prize win at Cannes

South Korea on Sunday hailed Bong Joon-ho’s Cannes film festival win for “Parasite”, saying it had left a historic footprint as the first Korean film to win the Palme d’Or.

The top prize win by “Parasite”, a black comedy about a family of clever scammers from South Korea’s underclass, was a unanimous choice by the nine-person jury at the renowned festival.

It was the first big international prize for Bong, the maker of the hugely acclaimed “The Host” and “Snowpiercer”, who became the first Korean in the 72-year history of Cannes to scoop the coveted award.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in congratulated Bong for the prize, adding the passion of the “Parasite” staff had created national pride in the country’s cinema industry.

“I extend my gratitude on behalf of the Korean people,” Moon tweeted. “I am very proud of Bong Joon-ho who has risen to the top as one of the world’s best directors.”

Waking up to the news on Sunday morning, South Korean media, critics and fans were ecstatic, with Yonhap news agency reporting that Bong had “finally quenched the thirst” for top recognition at the festival.

The mass-circulated Dong-A Ilbo daily added: “By winning the Palme d’Or at the renowned Cannes film festival, Bong left a footprint in the history of Korean cinema”.

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