Director: Lee Isaac Chung Cast: Steven Yeun, Han Ye-ri, Youn Yuh-jung, Alan S. Kim, Noel Cho, Will Patton Original title: Minari Country: United States Year: 2020 Release date: 3-12-2021 Genre: Drama Script: Lee Isaac Chung Photography: Lachlan Milne Synopsis: the story of a Korean family that, in the mid-80s, seeks a better future in a rural area of Arkansas where they open a farm to achieve the American dream .
For all those who are looking for stories about the illusions and miseries of life.
You don’t have to know Lee Isaac Chung’s biography to see what he tells about in Minari. My family’s story is based on your own experience. He is that little boy, David, who comes to a farm in Arkansas where his father dreams of becoming a farmer in the eighties. His parents emigrated from South Korea looking for the American dream and all they found was a job in a chicken farm where they had to separate the females from the males, the latter discarded for not being useful. The patriarch of the family, Jacob (Steven Yeun) feels just like those male chickens. He has not managed to achieve economic stability for his people and the shadow of failure haunts him until it almost becomes a curse.
So far, so close. Minari. Historia de mi familia is inserted within the tradition of films about the structural shocks that are generated in migrant communities, which takes us from Ang Lee’s debut film, Hands that push (1991) to the recent The Farewell (2019), by Lulu Wang. In all of them the figure of the grandparent is of vital importance, which connects directly with the roots that little by little seem to be disappearing as the family nucleus is integrated into the new culture. Here, we find Soonja (Youn Yuh-jung), who, despite his delicate health, will travel to help his daughter in that rural utopia that she does not see clearly. She will be in charge of uniting traditions, of connecting little David with a whole imaginary that she has to do with ancestral wisdom and nature to strengthen the body and spirit.
A new hope. Actually, Minari. My Family Story is about faith. On the shadow of religion as a suffocating element from which it is impossible to escape, but, above all, on self-confidence. Of course, it also speaks of identity, of belonging or not to a specific space, something that represents the plant that gives the film its name, capable of growing anywhere and feeding the rich and the poor. Lee Isaac Chung adopts a calm and meek style. He sometimes seems tempted to abuse indie tics, but soon he settles his gaze to fixate on the painting of scenes and characters in a very beautiful and delicate way.