Saturday, February 27, 2021
"Most stories about immigrants adjusting to America take place in cities, environs where a newcomer may already have family or friends, or at least be able to find a community. The family in writer-director Lee Isaac Chung’s Minari takes a different route: Jacob and Monica (Steven Yeun and Yeri Han) have come to America from Korea to seek better opportunities—we don’t know much more than that. But we do learn that Jacob has a dream of growing things, of being a farmer. Jacob, Monica and their two young children, David and Anne (Alan Kim and Noel Cho), have lived for a time in California, but as the movie opens, we see them driving to what will be their new home: A blocky rectangle of a house propped on cinderblocks, adjacent to a stretch of land that looks like paradise to Jacob—but not to Monica. She says little at first, but her stern silence tells us what she’s thinking: Why have you brought us here? This is 1980s Arkansas; there may be a few Koreans here and there, but there’s not much of a community."