Q: Your films from Mother to The Host and Memories of Murder all have some form of social commentary, whether it’s about the relationships of mothers and sons, the ineptitude of the police, or science going too far. Is making social commentary what drives your ideas and filmmaking?
Bong Joon-ho: It’s not to say that the main purpose is to criticise or say something about society as a greater whole, but I’m more concerned with the individual and specific people and the human concerns that arise within a narrative. Because I’m obviously making films that concern Korean characters, I think there’s probably something in that regard of cultural sense in the peoples that I portray and the characters, but I think it’s also hard to separate an individual from the society that they come from, as well. So, for Memories of Murder, its main concern and question that really was at the center was why did these girls die at that point and why were the cops not able to find the killer and solve the mystery? Those are situational things that I think are more important of that era, of that time period in Korea. Something like The Host, the question would be why is this family struggling so on their own to solve this problem of their daughter being taken away. Why are they not being helped? Why are they alone in this struggle to do it? I think by asking those questions, you kind of have a greater picture of the other dilemmas that point to make that happen in a great societal whole. I think those are the things that I’m more concerned with more so than trying to target political commentary. (x)