Business booms for Parasite locations

February 14, 2020


SEOUL: Locations featured in South Korea’s Oscar-winning Parasite movie have enjoyed a business boom since its Oscar triumph, with a pizza store seeing sales double.

The genre-defying thriller critiquing the gap between rich and poor won four Oscars, including best picture, the first non-English language film to win the top prize since the Academy Awards debuted in 1929.

South Koreans have been overjoyed by its success, with many paying visits to spots where scenes were filmed.

“Sales have doubled,” said Eom Hang-ki, 65, owner of Sky Pizza in Seoul, a nondescript 10-seat restaurant and takeaway where the poor Kim family scheme to infiltrate another member into the wealthy Park household.

“Yesterday, the pizza machine broke down due to an overload of orders. It was special, touching, and heartwarming when they won the awards,” she added.

Seoul’s city government has been looking to tap into the Parasite phenomenon, with a page on its tourism website detailing four shooting locations.

At the Pig Rice Supermarket in western Seoul, a mom and pop grocery store where the Kims’ son is drinking when he receives an offer to tutor the Parks’ daughter, owner Kim Kyung-soon said: “I am really happy and thankful to them for shooting a great film here and making me famous too.”

But not all the reactions had been positive, added Kim, who has run the shop for 35 years: with talk of the site being preserved as a tourist attraction, some residents were “worried that the neighbourhood won’t be redeveloped”.

Published in Dawn, February 14th, 2020