Korean movie filmed in Arkansas

The Korean American film “Minari” presents a deeply truthful and human story. Director Lee Issac Chung based this film on his own childhood. Chung grew up on a small farm in rural Arkansas while facing the challenges of growing up with immigrant parents. 

This classic immigrant story takes place in Arkansas in the 1980’s where a Korean American family hopes to create a 50-acre farm. Throughout the film, the mother, Monica, and father, Jacob, are seen fighting over the challenges they are facing in creating a new life for themselves and their children. Their young kids, Anne and David, must adjust to a new life while living with their grandmother who has strict Korean values. With little money and a struggling start to their farm, this family portrays the amount of resilience a lot of immigrant families must have in order to survive. 

As a daughter of former immigrant parents, I know and understand the struggles that immigrant families go through to achieve their version of the American dream. Chung is able to captivate the reality of a struggling immigrant family in a way I have never seen before. Immigrant stories are often a tough topic to speak about but these stories are also so beautiful and important to share. 

The movie was screening at some theatres but I decided to watch it at home one night. I was able to watch it online through the A24 Films website which cost $20 to screen. The website also included an introduction featuring one of the actors and a Q&A section at the end of the movie where all of the cast members were able to talk about their experiences throughout the film. I think it’s great that we are seeing more Asian American films being made and something special with the movie “Minari” is that they also included a lot of Asian American crew members who helped create the movie behind the scenes. 

Although I wish the movie would have included more at the end, I think ending the film in that abrupt manner just goes to show how immigrants can be met with despair at times. I definitely recommend this movie to anyone who is down for a good laugh and a hard cry.