Eat the Rich: The Parasitic Relationship Between Socioeconomic Groups as explored through film by Bong Joon-Ho’s Parasite and Snowpiercer
Bong Joon-Ho’s portrayal of Class and the war between those who inhabit either end of the socioeconomic spectrum has long been noted and explored by critics and scholars for years. In particular, his films Parasite and Snowpiercer offer a dynamic exploration of this topic. Existing conversation about these films delves deeply into the symbolism for class and status, but rarely do they come from an emphasis in food studies and the way food can be used to denote socioeconomic structures. While that conversation is growing, I hope to expand it further by focusing on the space and method in which food is consumed in these films through a socioeconomic lens. Parasite and Snowpiercer are essential to this conversation because of their careful use of space. There is a clear spatial divide between the lower and upper classes in these movies that is invaded by a group. With this spatial divide, we see food spaces change in order to reinforce a binary idea of how class structure exists. Along with the change in space, change in method is equally important to analyze. The difference between eating around a table and eating on the couch can be a subtle but powerful image to emphasize socioeconomic position. For these reasons, I seek to explore the way Bong Joon-ho uses food and consumption spaces in order to reinforce socioeconomic divisions in order to comment on the impact of class division through every aspect of the human experience.