Friday, February 12, 2021


Minari gives us a look at the American dream through the eyes of a Korean-American family relocating from California to rural Arkansas where Jacob (Steven Yeun) hopes to make his fortune growing and selling Korean vegetables across the region while he and his wife (Yeri Han) temporarily make due with jobs at a nearby hatchery. Although his wife is far from certain about his plan, or their new double-wide mobile home, the family works to put down roots and begin a new life. And life is what Minari is all about.

The semi-autobiographical film by writer/director Lee Isaac Chung showcases the family's ups and downs in 1980s Arkansas far from anything or anyone that remind them of home. At times amusing, such as dealing with the couple's rambunctious son David (Alan S. Kim), at times uncomfortable, such as the couple struggles over Jacob's priorities putting the farm above the family, and at times heartbreaking, as the family struggles with misfortune, Minari is a well-crafted slice of life from an unique perspective that feels lived-in and real. Chung's love of the time and place is palpable in every scene of the film as he wistfully peers back through the years for home.

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