Oscar win draws unlikely political support for ‘Parasite’s’ Bong

first_imgThe rest of the family then scheme to secure jobs in the wealthy household by inflating their qualifications and pretending they’re not related.Concerns with class and inequality fueled mass protests in 2016 that led to Park Geun-hye’s impeachment and subsequent ouster and propelled Moon into power the next year. While Moon’s administration has since been hit by its own corruption scandals, allegations that the Park administration excluded artists including Bong from state funding complicate any opposition hopes of scoring points from his victory.Bong was among 9,473 artists and cultural figures blacklisted for voicing criticism of how the administration handled the Sewol ferry sinking in 2014, according to South Korea’s culture ministry. Also on the list was CJ Group’s Miky Lee, a relentless advocate for Bong who shared the Oscar stage Sunday and who the Park administration pressured the company to demote.That hasn’t stopped LPK candidates from trying to leverage Bong’s status as a symbol of South Korean soft power. Kwak Sang-do, who was once Park’s senior presidential secretary for civil affairs and later served on the National Assembly’s cultural committee, pledged to expand cultural facilities in Bong’s hometown of Daegu.‘Act of Desperation’Another conservative candidate, Bae Young-shik, suggested erecting a statue of Bong, naming a street after him, as well as restoring his birth home.“The US, Russia, and Europe do not hold back on investing to honor their artists, politicians, academics, and scientists by making streets and erecting statues,” Bae told the DongA Ilbo newspaper. “We must support making Bong’s national contributions known all over the nationwide and worldwide.”Still, it’s unclear how many points such proposals will score with voters.“This is an act of desperation by the South Korean conservatives,” cultural critic Chin Jung-kwon wrote on Facebook. “They are trying to free-ride on director Bong Joon Ho’s glorious victory — that’s some gall.” Topics : “Parasite” director Bong Joon Ho is getting support from unexpected quarters in the wake of the film’s historic Academy Awards triumph: South Korean conservatives.Since Bong became the first director of a foreign-language film to hoist a Best Picture Oscar on Sunday, conservative politicians have been rushing to lionize the filmmaker. One candidate seeking election in the country’s upcoming parliamentary election has proposed naming a street after Bong and erecting statues to him and his characters. Another proposed building a film museum in his hometown.The calls are surprising if only because they’re coming from members of South Korea’s opposition Liberty Korea Party, the successor group that backed former President Park Geun-hye. Park’s staff maintained a blacklist that denied state funding to artists such as Bong and more than 9,000 other cultural figures critical of the government.center_img The attempt to capitalize on “Parasite’s” groundbreaking Oscars success highlights a problem facing the LKP as it attempts to take the National Assembly back from President Moon Jae-in’s Democratic Party in the April general elections.A recent Korea Gallup poll showed 31% of the voters were undecided while 36% supported the ruling Democratic Party and 20% for the Liberty Korea Party, which voters historically associate with the pro-conglomerate policies widely blamed for the social inequality given global exposure by Bong’s film.Class and Inequality“Parasite” tells the story of the poor Kim family whose son Ki-wu gets a job teaching English to the daughter of a tech executive named Park Dong-ik. last_img read more

Chinese death row inmate reportedly digs tunnel, escapes from Tangerang prison

first_imgRead also: COVID-19: Riot breaks out in North Sulawesi prison amid virus fearsThe convict, who also goes by the name Cai Changpan, was declared guilty of drug trafficking and sentenced to death in 2017. He had been transferred to the penitentiary from the Pemuda prison in Tangerang.The warden said the Law and Human Rights Ministry’s Corrections Directorate General had taken over the case and opened an investigation.“The Corrections Directorate General, Inspectorate General and the ministry’s regional office in Banten are investigating the case,” directorate general spokesperson Rika Aprianti said. (mfp)Topics : A Chinese national on death row who was detained at the Tangerang penitentiary in Banten has reportedly escaped from the facility through a self-dug tunnel.Tangerang prison warden Jumadi confirmed the jailbreak, explaining that the Chinese national, Cai Ji Fan, left the penitentiary on Monday at around 2:30 a.m. through a sewer connected to the tunnel he had dug.“We have conducted a search since the day he escaped. We believe he dug a tunnel [on the prison grounds] that goes through one of the prison walls and escaped,” he told tempo.co on Friday.last_img read more

Swedish roundup: Länsförsäkringar, Handelsbanken, Alecta, SEB, Swedbank, PP Pension

first_imgLänsförsäkringar Liv is not the only company struggling with guaranteed products.Its rival Handelsbanken Liv had to top up its guaranteed products with SEK16m (€1.8m), as performance failed to cover the guarantees agreed over the third quarter.The guarantees are between 3% and 5%, and, as long as interest rates remain low, the situation will remain.Handelsbanken has worked to move customers out of guaranteed products for some time now.It has SEK11bn in these types of products, SEK57bn in fund products and SEK16bn in other types of insurance products.AMF, another life and pension provider, returned 5.9% over the first three quarters, while its solvency ratio increased to 221%, up from 183% last year, putting it in a better position than many of its competitors when dealing with guarantees.Alecta, meanwhile, returned 6.6%, with a solvency ratio of 174%, compared with 134% at the same time last year.Alecta’s main pension product, Alecta Optimal Pension, returned 12% over the period.Elsewhere, the life and pensions business of SEB, the Swedish banking group, saw premiums increase by 14% to SEK23bn, with its unit-linked business assets under management at an all-time-high at SEK148bn as a result of new clients and rising stock markets.At the same time, SEB Trygg Liv Gamla, its traditional guaranteed product, returned 6.6%. The solvency ratio increased to 192% from 166%.Bucking the trend of reduced guarantees, SEB Trygg Liv Gamla increased guarantees to 7% before taxes and fees from 1 October.At the same time, life and pension business of Nordea, the Nordic banking group, saw a rise in premiums of 23%.Similarly, Swedbank Försäkring, the life and pension insurance business of the banking group, saw premium income increase by 8%, with assets under management increasing by 11% to SEK113.8bn.Its average return for fund customers was 9.6%.Lastly, PP Pension, the pension fund for the press and media, reported returns of 4.4% for the three quarters to the end of September. Länsförsäkringar Liv, the Swedish life and pension insurer, has set out to boost its solvency levels by asking its customers to agree to new contracts without guarantees. So far, only 10,000 of its 200,000 customers have agreed.Instead of guarantees, Länsförsäkringar is also now offering lower fees, a move that has increased its solvency ratio by 1.2 percentage points to 118%.During the first three quarters of the year, guaranteed product performance was down by 3.9%, while its new product with lower guarantees returned 0.8%.last_img read more