Directed by Lee Isaac Chung
A Korean American family moves to California in 1983. Father Jacob and mother Monica move with their two American-born children, a mature girl named Anne and a six-year-old boy named David, to farmland in Arkansas. Jacob hopes to build a sustainable farm growing Korean produce to sell to vendors in Dallas and live the American Dream. As Jacob and Monica busily work, Monica’s mother, Soon-ja, travels from South Korea to help watch the children. Soon-ja is a mischievous but loving character. She adjusts to life in America and tries to bond with the children despite David avoiding her as she does not conform to his idea of a “normal” grandmother. The family deals with many issues that test the resilience of the household, and through the pain and struggles, the family becomes closer and stronger together.
The film showcases spectacular cinematography, excellent story-telling, and beautiful acting. Minari captures a family of immigrants who came to America in hopes of a better life and the struggles they faced doing so. The message from the film is something that will stick with me forever. The film teaches you that as a family, we can overcome and navigate our way through the challenges in life. It is okay to struggle at times and fall down, however, we must remember to keep going together. I love how the storyline was simple, yet still thoughtful and well delivered. This is a perfect film for the whole family to enjoy and take away an inspiring message.
Reviewed by Emily K.