How the Movie ‘Parasite’ Confronts Native Stereotypes

Although director Bong Joon-ho wants to expose naivete toward Native American history, the representation is unevenly handled

Song Kang-ho as Kim Ki-taek in “Parasite” (2019). Photo: NEON

This misuse of Native culture is continually brought back to the screen as the plot becomes more tense, highlighting the embarrassing appropriation.

The common stereotype of the “American Indian” is based on what has been seen in movies, like the classics belonging to the Western genre. These cartoonish figures that saturated movie theaters in the 1940s and beyond are complete with a war bonnet, loincloth, and a peace pipe or flute.

Brooklyn-based Cherokee Nation citizen & writer who focuses on film representation. Coffee drinker, Rogue One defender, and Oklahoma City Thunder fan.

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