Home NEWS Arts ScreenShots: “Minari”

ScreenShots: “Minari”


Being dreamers and builders ourselves we’ll admit we’re suckers for a good yarn about a family of new arrivals just starting out in a Strange New Land, making things work through a combination of grit and initiative and creative thinking.

Writer-director Lee Isaac Chung’s Minari, a semi-autobiographical look at a Korean American family moving to Arkansas in the Eighties to corner the market on Asian vegetables works on so many levels: rooting for the newcomers as they struggle, laughing at the American characters they meet along the way, seeing our own origins in theirs.

Chung’s camera loves seven-year-old David (Alan Kim), who’s been uprooted from California by his father (Steven Yeun – blessedly unbludgeoned here after his tenure in The Walking Dead) and brought to the family homestead with his mother and sister. Sister (Noel Kate Cho) and Mum (Yeri Han) are unsure about Dad’s agrarian experiment and a gantlet of man-made and natural obstacles reinforce their impression that the family is headed in the wrong direction. Suffice to say that everyone’s resolve is tested, with many lessons learned along the way.

Available for rental through Amazon Prime.

The Elevator Pitch: Recognizable characters struggling to make it in a new and challenging land, and tested at every turn.

Quotable Quote: “Five acres is a hobby. My dream is 50 acres.”


  1. I wanted to watch this, but it’s $20 to rent…I will wait. Nominated for Best Foreign Film from uh, from uh, Arkansas.

      • I look forward to it. I could go as high as $6 🙂 There is something so appealing and so American about an immigrant story, strangers from far flung lands driven by circumstance to unknown shores, so to speak. Struggles and triumphs. I think I read a poem about it:

        Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
        With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
        Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
        A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
        Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
        Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
        Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
        The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

  2. Lots of good dramatic moments, but it felt incomplete. If that ending is intended to be optimistic, the mom in the story and I are not feeling it. The “Cross Guy” added an interesting slice of Arkansana and the gentle hand of providence to a story of struggle. I did appreciate that.

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