Feb 23, 2020

Dubs or subs? Parasite renews debate on how to watch foreign films

The South Korean dark comedy film Parasite had a historic awards season sweep - and in the process, reignited the debate over whether subtitles or dubbing is the best way to watch a movie that isn't in your native language. As director Bong Joon Ho accepted the first-ever best foreign language picture Golden Globe for a South Korean film, he said: "Once you overcome the one-inch tall barrier of subtitles, you will be introduced to so many more amazing films." How you watch a foreign film is a clearly personal matter, tangled in pet peeves and accessibility. Subtitled films have rarely grossed over $100m, but Parasite has already surpassed $200m worldwide. The biggest foreign language film to find success in the US to date is the Chinese drama Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, which grossed $128m in 2000 and won the Oscar and Golden Globe awards for best foreign language film.

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