Minari (2020)

Director: Lee Isaac Chung Run Time: 115 min. Rating: PG-13

Starring: Alan S. Kim, Noel Cho, Steven Yuen, Will Patton, Yeri Han, Yuh-Jung Youn

Country: United States
Language: English, Korean with English subtitles

Presented in the A24 Screening Room.


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“One of the most profound and honest cinematic depictions of what it means to be American, not just this year, but in recent memory.”

– Oliver Jones, Observer

About the film:

Winner of the Sundance Film Festival 2020 U.S. Dramatic Audience Award and Grand Jury Prize, and winner of the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture – Foreign Language. The film earned six nominations at the 2021 Film Independent Spirit Awards and six nominations at the 93rd Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Directing, Best Original Screenplay, Best Actor for Steven Yeun, and Best Actress for Yuh-Jung Youn.

A tender and sweeping story about what roots us, Minari follows a Korean-American family that moves to a tiny Arkansas farm in search of their own American Dream. The family home changes completely with the arrival of their sly, foul-mouthed, but incredibly loving grandmother.

Amidst the instability and challenges of this new life in the rugged Ozarks, Minari shows the undeniable resilience of family and what really makes a home.

About the filmmaker:

Award-winning writer and director Lee Isaac Chung grew up on a small farm in Lincoln, Arkansas. He received his BA in biology at Yale University and his MFA in film studies at the University of Utah. His work deals with memory, family, and authentic human experiences.

His highly acclaimed debut feature was the Rwandan family drama Munyurangabo, a collaboration with his filmmaking students in Kigali and the first narrative feature film in the Kinyarwanda language. The film premiered at Cannes, and Chung was selected for the New Directors/New Films series at Lincoln Center and the Museum of Modern Art. He was also nominated for the Someone to Watch Award at the Independent Spirit Awards.

His follow-up features include Lucky Life based on the poetry of Gerald Stern and Abigail Harm, a modern story inspired by the Korean folktale “The Woodcutter and the Nymph.” He revisited Rwanda in the documentary I Have Seen My Last Born, a moving portrayal of a man navigating life in a changing country. Among his current projects, Chung is currently writing an adaptation of the universally acclaimed 2016 anime feature Your Name.

For the semi-autobiographical Minari, Chung worked with a predominantly Korean American cast and crew, including Executive Producer Steven Yeun, who became the first Asian American to be nominated for Best Actor, and acclaimed South Korean actress Yuh-jung Youn.

Listen to Lee Isaac Chung open up about his memories of his family and writing Minari in an emotional interview for NPR.

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