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- The “Parasite” director Bong Joon Ho won four Oscars on Sunday night at the 92nd Academy Awards: best original screenplay, best international feature film, best director, and best picture.
- Bong matched the record set by Walt Disney in 1954 for most Oscars won in a single night by one person.
- “Parasite” became the first South Korean film to win an Oscar of any kind, and Bong beat Sam Mendes and “1917” to best director and best picture.
- Bong also became the ninth director born outside the US to win best director in the past decade, while he and Taika Waititi (who won best adapted screenplay for “Jojo Rabbit”) became the first pair of writers of color to win the two screenplay awards.
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In 1954, at the 26th Academy Awards, Disney won best documentary feature for “The Living Desert,” best documentary short subject for “The Alaskan Eskimo,” best short subject (cartoon) for “Toot, Whistle, Plunk and Boom,” and best short subject (two-reel) for “Bear Country.”
Sixty-six years later at the Academy Awards, Bong matched the record.
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On a side note, Taika Waititi won best adapted screenplay for “Jojo Rabbit,” making him the first indigenous person to win an Oscar. Waititi and Bong’s screenplay wins meant both screenplay awards went to people of color for the first time in Oscar history.
“Parasite” then won best international feature film. While many expected that to be the end of the night for Bong and “Parasite” after Sam Mendes and “1917” had dominated awards season by winning almost all of the major precursors, including best drama and best director at the Golden Globes, the same two awards at the BAFTAs, and the DGA and PGA awards.
While best international feature film technically goes to the country of origin rather than any producer or filmmaker (in this case, South Korea), the Oscar statuette is engraved with both the country’s name and the director’s name.
But then Spike Lee, the presenter of best director, read out Bong’s name yet again, signaling that “Parasite” was about to make even more history. On a second side note, Bong’s win means nine of the past 10 best director winners were born outside the US.
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Jane Fonda then named “Parasite” as the winner of best picture, and the room erupted.
“Parasite” made history as the first international film to win best picture. Bong won as a producer on the film and claimed his fourth Oscar of the night. In total, he won best original screenplay, best international feature film, best director, and best picture.
Bong may have matched Disney’s record of the most Oscars won in one night, but the director has a long way to go to match Disney’s record for total Oscars won by one person. Disney won 22.