By obi Bankole The 92nd Academy Awards was a night of many ﬁrsts. Five years after being scrutinized by the public for picking winning ﬁlms — especially in non-production categories — that were overwhelmingly white,they seemed to have reached the culmination of a project to rebrand. This peak is Parasite, the South Korean sleeper hit that won four Oscars: best picture,best directing, best international feature ﬁlm, and best original screenplay.It marks the ﬁrst time a foreign language ﬁlm has won best picture, ever. Parasite’s genre-bend-ing, surprise ending storyline captured the attention of many Americans who normally shy away from foreign language ﬁlms.Director Bong Joon Ho addressed this in his Golden Globes speech: “Once you overcome the one-inch tall barrier of subtitles, you will be introduced to so many more amazing ﬁlms.”Parasite comes on the heels of the 2019 best picture nominee Roma, an English and Spanish language ﬁlm. Tough it took home best director, best foreign language ﬁlm, and best cinematography, it did not win best picture. It went to Green Book, which an overwhelming
number of critics saw as the less deserving ﬁlm. The Oscars have grown more friendly to ﬁlms by and featuring people of color with big wins by ﬁlms like Moonlight and Hair; and people like Alejandro González Iñárritu, Lupita Nyong’o,and Guillermo del Toro. The inclusion of these ﬁlms, directors, actors,and production teams mirrors the increasingly diverse voices we see in high budget cinema.
Films like Parasite, Us, The Farewell, and even Spiderman: Into the Spider-verse run the gamut of genre and subject, and show the importance of representation in cinema. From stories about culture to stories where it is a byline, the saturationbof these ﬁlms is growing exponentially.Te Oscars are slow to reﬂect this trend,but the academy is steadily and surely making headway. An increasing concentration of diverse cinema does not detract from the traditional body of work presented at ceremonies like the Oscars. Instead, it enriches the overall selection and expands the perspective of moviegoers. We should count ourselves lucky to be able to watch ﬁlms like Jojo Rabbit and Once Upon a Time … In Hollywood, which are both masterful commentaries on their social climates — Nazi Germany and the golden age of Hollywood. Two of the nominees for best actress in a leading role, Cynthia Erivo and Renee Zellweger, are in ﬁlmsthat seem to be opposites. One, a biopic on Harriet Tubman, the other a biopic on Judy Gar-land. It would be easy to assign a higher value to one or the other or say that one is more deserving of the nomination. However, their presence in the same category only serves to diversify it and ﬂesh out the stories told