If you haven't heard, there's been a trailer that released fairly recently for a new film called "Minari", distributed by A24. A24 is the studio behind films like "Hereditary", "Midsommar", and more. "Minari" or 미나리 (in Korean) stars Steven Yeun (famously known as Glenn from "The Walking Dead"), and Korean actresses Han Ye-ri (한예리) and Yoon Yuh-jung (윤여정). Written and directed by Lee Isaac Chung, it was premiered first at the Sundance Film Festival on January 26th, 2020, winning the U.S. Dramatic Grand Jury Prize along with the U.S. Dramatic Audience Award.
Minari is about a Korean (Korean-American) family that moves to the countryside of Arkansas "in search of their own American Dream". Steven Yeun and Han Ye-ri play as immigrant Koreans who raise their Korean-American children. Additionally, their own grandmother (Yoon Yuh-jung) lives with them as well. To many people, this may not seem like the most appealing story, but as a fellow Korean-American who can relate to this movie so well, I have nothing but high hopes for this work. Right now, only trailers are available and there doesn't seem to be a public release date yet but even from the trailers, I knew this was a movie for me. Everything about this is so relatable, being in America surrounded by people who don't look like you, who don't speak the same language as your parents do, and to live with your grandmother who would know even less English too. So many aspects of this movie that I got from trailers hit home for me, and I am expecting no shortage of rainfall of tears coming out of my eyes. It seems that the son can't speak Korean that well, which is exactly what I was like growing up. I, of course, understood the language and whatever my parents and grandparents said to me but I could never have the vocabulary or knowledge to respond to them back in their mother tongue. It was even harder to communicate with my grandparents because they don't even remotely understand English so that's where a little bit of my Korean was used for. I honestly can't relate to living on a farm in Arkansas, but I can definitely relate to the aspect of living in a predominantly Caucasian neighborhood on Long Island.
Growing up, when Asian cultures were mentioned in shows, it was always Chinese or Japanese and I always asked myself "what about Koreans?". I now live in a world where I don't need to ask that question anymore because a whole movie revolves around a Korean family. It's like the movie I've been waiting for has finally come to me, and I am absolutely stoked to watch it. No matter how many movie tickets are, take my money, please.