(ATTN: UPDATES with Moon's letter to 'Parasite' team in lead paras, details in last 2 paras; ADDS photo)
SEOUL, Feb. 10 (Yonhap) -- President Moon Jae-in sent a congratulatory message Monday to Bong Joon-ho and his "Parasite" team for the historic Oscar success of the South Korean film, saying it has given South Koreans pride and courage as they try to overcome the challenges of the novel coronavirus outbreak.
The president wrote in an official letter that his government will "be with our movie people" so that they can engage in imaginative filmmaking free from worry. He was apparently reaffirming his administration's commitment to protect freedom of speech with minimal censorship.
"'Parasite' has moved the hearts of people around the world with a story that best highlights Korean style, and has proved its capability to the world through unique and detailed directing, pithy dialogue, script, editing, music, art and the actors' performances," Moon said.
The movie, directed by Bong, was awarded the best picture, best screenplay, best director and best international feature film prizes at the 92nd Academy Awards earlier in the day.
Moon described it as the fruit of "the accumulated efforts of all who have made movies over the past 100 years (in South Korea)."
"I am very happy that South Korean movies are now able to begin a new 100 years standing in comparison to world movies," he added.
The film is about the gap between rich and poor in modern Seoul and touches on related social problems in a blackly comedic tone, ending with a tragic and grotesque scene.
Moon praised "Parasite" for its "great and fresh" social message as well.
"It makes us realize the impact and power of movies," Moon said, adding that he's already curious about the "next plan" of Bong, the cast and crew. The president was apparently referencing a popular line in the movie, "Son, you've got a plan!"
He posted the same message on his social media accounts earlier in the day.
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