Diversity goes mainstream

Sheila Fahy

Who’d have dreamt it? And the Oscar for the Best Film and the Best Director goes to ….. Yes, Hollywood have awarded the highest accolade to a South Korean, subtitled, film called Parasite, directed by Bong Joon-ho. This is the first time in the Oscars’ 92-year history that a foreign language film has scooped the top prize. This is a game changer. Difference becomes a valuable asset.

Why should it be so startling? Imagine, in a workplace, having a prize for the best international employee or the best employee who speaks a foreign language. It would be unthinkable. It would be singling out a difference rather than focusing on the best employee.

For years the Oscars have had a minor category for the Best International Feature Film (which incidentally Parasite also won). But it was never the pinnacle. This year the Academy have voted for the best film. Plain and simple. This gives hope to anyone with an eye to diversity and equality, and to any individual who wants to rise to the top on merit.

Yes, I’m a film buff who has seen this truly astonishing film. But I am also over the moon because across the globe people will rush out to see a film that might previously have been thought inaccessible.

For those of you who haven’t seen the film, don’t read anything about it. Don’t listen to anyone either. Just go without any expectations (difficult!) and enjoy the ride.