Here’s Why 'Minari' is the Film We All Need Right Now
this movie will give you all the feels 🥺
Lee Isaac Chung’s “Minari” follows an immigrant Korean family as they build their version of the American dream in 1980s rural Arkansas. Through this autobiographical film, Chung makes sense of and shares the warmth and struggles of his Korean American childhood. This movie is deeply intimate and the details are unique to Chung’s story, but the themes of resilience, adaptation, and sacrifice are universally relatable.
I am deeply touched by “Minari”. In a place in my life where I am constantly looking and planning ahead, “Minari” compelled me to stop, to take time to reflect, recognize, and wonder about my family’s past, my parents’ American dream, and more.
“Minari” made me realize things about my parents that I was previously unaware of. The film’s ability to unveil is partly the result of Chung’s maturity. Now older than his parents were when he was six, Chung has the necessary life experience and perspective to portray the struggles unique to immigrant parents, specifically the tension between assimilating or asserting their cultural identity. This tension is the backdrop to the movie, manifesting itself in obvious ways and seemingly inconsequential details as well, like whether or not to attend the local church where the family would be the only non-white attendees.
Some of the more humorous moments in the movie revolve around the dynamic between David, the bright six year old son, and his Korean grandmother Soonja who moves in from Korea to help with childcare. Being eccentric and mischievous, Soonja is not the stereotypical grandmother Americanized David was expecting. Their intergenerational and intercultural relationship is wholesome and hilarious; a true delight to witness.
“Minari” is heart wrenching and heart warming. The collaboration between the script, production, and actors bring forth a film that beautifully captures the charm of family and everyday life even in the toughest of moments. While the film does not shy away from underscoring hardships, “Minari” is uplifting and refreshing in a realistic way, making it the perfect movie to watch in our chaotic world.
“Minari” had its theatrical release on February 12, 2021.
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