Both written and directed by Lee Issac Chung, Minari is a Korean film that showcases a Korean family immigrating to the United States in search of a better life. This family movie was in fact inspired by Director Lee’s childhood growing up on a farm in Arkansas, where the movie is set. The movie itself captures Lee’s hardships and memories of immigrating to a foreign country and adjusting to American society.
Some might wonder why there is another Korean film gaining global attention again so soon after Parasite. Is it as good as Parasite, which won multiple Oscars? Minari gained multiple nominations and won for best actress. Setting aside my own bias, this is a film worth watching. After all, at its core, it’s a movie about a family striving for the American Dream, and who doesn’t love a movie about the American Dream?
Before watching the movie, knowing the meaning behind the title will help you better understand its overarching theme. “Minari” is a synonym for a water celery that is commonly grown in East Asia. This resilient vegetable can tolerate harsh conditions when growing and mirrors the featured family’s resilience amid unfamiliar environs. Especially in such a difficult time as the COVID pandemic, I hope viewing this movie inspires people to empathize more with others facing hardships and struggles.
Although most of the movie is in English, I still guarantee, as the director of Parasite said, that with a bit of effort, “once you overcome the one-inch tall barrier of subtitles… you will be introduced to so many more amazing films.” I recommend applying this lesson not only to amazing Korean films but also to other foreign films. Add some to your watchlist so they’re waiting for you the next time you want to watch a movie.
“Parasite’s Bong Joon Ho: Get Over Subtitles, Watch Foreign Language Films,” Dazed, https://www.dazeddigital.com/film-tv/article/47346/1/parasite-director-bong-joon-ho-golden-globes-subtitles-foreign-language-films