Minari, Film4, written and directed by Lee Isaac Chung.



Minari is a type of planet used in cooking South Korean dishes that grows like a weed. Monica’s mother Soon-ja (Youn Yuh-jung) travels from South Korea to help look after her grandchildren.  She plants minari seeds in the creek bed where it grows abundantly. There’s a metaphor there. As Jacob Yi (Steven Yeun/ Yeun Sang-yeop) explains his decision to Monica (Han Ye-ri) to move his family from California to rural Arkansas to live in a trailer, he didn’t want to spend the rest of his life sexing chicks (their job is separating male from female chicks, the former are killed and the latter feeds the market) he wants more than a garden, he doesn’t want five acres, he needs fifty, because he has a dream of making a living from the land and selling Korean vegetables to the growing immigrant market. Jacob tells her that people like them have come to America to make a new life. It’s 1981, we’re at the beginning of Reaganomcs. Every year 30 000 Koreans immigrate to America. Almost all South Koreans, like them wanting to taste food from home. In other words, Jacob reiterates the American dream of wanting better for himself and his children.

There’s trouble ahead. A heart-warming film that hits home. Worth watching.