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Moon meets Bong Joon-ho, vows gov't efforts against cinema screen monopolies

Politics 14:59 February 20, 2020

SEOUL, Feb. 20 (Yonhap) -- President Moon Jae-in said Thursday his government would do its best to introduce a legal measure to curb screen monopolies in South Korean cinemas, speaking at a Cheong Wa Dae meeting with Bong Joon-ho, director of the Oscars-winning movie "Parasite."

The president pledged "tangible support" for the further development of the local film industry and cited the proposed ceiling on the total number of screens for a certain movie and the expansion of academies.

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism earlier announced a plan for legislation on the so-called screen ceiling system, but it remains uncertain whether a related bill will pass the National Assembly amid lingering controversy over such an "artificial" regulatory step.

During the luncheon, also attended by the film's cast and production staff, Moon repeatedly said he was so proud that the dark comedy and thriller about social problems stemming from income gaps has bagged four Oscar awards.

President Moon Jae-in speaks at a Cheong Wa Dae luncheon meeting in Seoul with director Bong Joon-ho of the Oscar-winning film "Parasite" on Feb. 20, 2020. (Yonhap)

He pointed out that it has rewritten the history of South Korea's film sector, born a century ago, and that of the Academy Awards as well.

"Parasite" was excellent enough to collapse the barrier as a non-English movie, so even the Oscars had no other choice but to recognize it, according to the president.

Its Oscar success has also given South Korean people a lot of pride and encouragement as they are suffering difficulties due to COVID-19, he added.

It has proven to the world that South Korea's culture is not marginal on the global stage any more as also shown in the global popularity of BTS and other K-pop celebrities, Moon noted.

In response, Bong quipped he was thrown into a "pot of shock" listening to the president's "lengthy remarks" right next to him.

On the menu, meanwhile, was the "Jjapaguri (Ram-dong)" dish, which was made well known globally due to Bong's movie.


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