The Oscars, often criticized for a lack of diversity, helped change that narrative Sunday by celebrating the South Korean comedy-thriller “Parasite.” The film took home four awards, including best picture — a first for a non-English-language film.
Hollywood’s growing embrace of globalization is notable. Entertainment is a worldwide industry. China is now the second-largest film market in the world after the U.S. Soon it likely will surpass it.
As “Parasite” and other notable films have shown, the international film business is more than a source of box office revenue for Hollywood. Talent and storytelling come from many corners of the planet.
Another lesson of “Parasite” is that industries flourish when they expand beyond borders. The NBA is a prime example. Players from Europe, Latin America, China and elsewhere have made the NBA better, and consequently made the NBA more money. When the NBA All-Star Game takes place on Feb. 16, one of the two captains will be Giannis Antetokounmpo, who was born in Greece to Nigerian parents. A while back, the NFL began playing games in London, and more recently, Mexico City.
Businesses that don’t think globally risk becoming irrelevant. The same is true, by the way, for cities.
Until now, Hollywood’s relationship with the rest of the world has been largely one-way. Distributing “Star Wars” or “Titanic” to markets in Asia, Europe and the rest of the globe meant more revenue for U.S.-based studios.
Here’s hoping “Parasite” is a sign that Hollywood’s thinking has forever changed.
FROM AN EDITORIAL IN THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE
What was director Julia Reichert thinking at Sunday night’s Oscars?
“American Factory” is a very good documentary about the growing and shrinking pains that result when a Chinese company takes over a former General Motors manufacturing plant in Ohio. Its lesson, to the extent there is a clear one, is that in a tough global economy, employees must find new ways to bridge cultural divides, save their unions and protect their jobs.
When Reichert and her team took the stage to accept the statuette for best documentary, she said a few smart-enough things about it being tough out there for workers in a world of multinational corporations and rising automation.
She then ended her remarks with this sentence: “Workers of the world, unite!”
Remedial education alert: This is, word for word, the call to action made famous by Karl Marx in the Communist Manifesto. Anyone who says it uncritically is either utterly ignorant of its unmistakable context or actually urging the overthrow of capitalist economies across the planet via a worldwide revolution of workers against those who control the means of production.
For an Academy Award-winning director to cap her acceptance speech with those words, at a moment when Republicans breathlessly and in most cases baselessly warn of socialists taking over the Democratic Party, is a caricature straight out of right-wing dreams.
FROM AN EDITORIAL IN THE NEW YORK DAILY NEWS