Tis the season for black comedies it seems, as on Saturday, Shuswap Film Society brings you the Korean movie Parasite.
By the title you might not expect it to be a brilliant commentary on poverty, wealth and the social divide. Then on Wednesday, we present Maiden, a must-see, inspiring documentary on an all-women sailing team that had the audacity to challenge mores and enter a 1989 yachting race.
Parasite focuses on the Kims, a struggling family living in a dumpy basement apartment and trying to eke out a living. The son gets a position tutoring the daughter of a wealthy family, the Parks who, in contrast, live in a resplendent home. Using questionable methods, the son dreams up a way to replace the Parks’ staff with his sister and parents (although the Parks don’t know they’re all related). The Kims become the “parasites” of the title, but the Parks use the Kims as well – it’s hard to know who’s living off whom. Our sympathies swing back and forth between the desperation of the poor and the idle hatefulness of the rich. But then a bizarre secret threatens to upset the balance.
Parasite never loses momentum and the stakes get higher as it moves toward a violent climax. It’s a gripping, sometimes funny, then serious, then savagely funny story about class warfare and the danger of greed. Parasite won the Palme d’Or (highest award) at Cannes Film Festival and many critics call it one of the year’s best films.
On Wednesday, Dec. 4, we bring you an all-family film about Tracy Edwards who, in her 20s, assembled an all-female crew to participate in the most challenging round-the-world yacht race on the planet (33,000 miles over 9 months). In 1989, the predominantly male yachting world thought it a joke that “girls” would even attempt the race. Despite the prejudice and ridicule, the women not only sailed the race but had a very respectable outcome, proving that skill, perseverance and courage at sea know no gender. Edwards and her crew members entertainingly relate their experience intercut with stunning and hold-your-breath footage from their voyage.
Parasite shows twice Saturday, Nov. 30, at 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., and Maiden plays at 7:30 on Wednesday, Dec. 4, at the Salmar Classic Cinema.