Technically, Minari is a 2020 movie – which is why we had it on our list of the Best Films of 2020. But the rollout of the movie has been a little weird, and it didn’t reach On Demand until today. But now that it’s available for all to see, I can’t recommend Minari enough. It’s a quiet-but-powerful movie that pulls you into its story of a Korean immigrant family trying to make the American dream a reality. Several clips from the film have found their way online to coincide with the On Demand release, and you can (and should) check them out below.
In Minari, “a Korean-American family that moves to an 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.” Steven Yeun, Yeri Han, Alan Kim, Noel Kate Cho, Yuh-Jung Youn, and Will Patton star in the film, which comes from writer-director Lee Isaac Chung, who based the script on his own life story. Here are the first five minutes of the film.
Minari Opening Scene
When the Yi family moves to Arkansas, things don’t go smoothly. The family patriarch Jacob (Steven Yeun) hopes to make it as a farmer, but his wife Monica (Yeri Han) misses their old life in California and has trouble adapting to the family’s new home, a trailer seemingly in the middle of nowhere. To get the farm started, Jacob goes looking for water on their new land.
Minari Clip: Digging For Water
The dynamic in the family, and the film, shifts when Monica’s mother (Youn Yuh-jung) comes to stay with the family. Here’s a clip featuring the grandmother with David (Alan Kim), the youngest member of the family, and the person whose perspective we see most of the narrative through.
Minari Clip: Strong Boy
Regarding the film’s story of a family looking for the always-elusive American dream, Chung told NPR: “I think in this country, we have many different people dreaming very different things. And I guess I wasn’t necessarily seeking to refute any one dream or even this idea of the American dream that we have, but more speak into the feeling that we have these days of maybe waking up from a dream. I feel like we’ve kind of had to wake up from something in 2020. And what are we left with when we wake up from this? And to me, this film is trying to talk about the things that last versus the things that don’t last. And whether the American dream fits in that or not, you know, I think — I leave that up to viewers. But I think that thing you find in the minari patch, I mean — that’s going to feed you. That’s going to stay with you.”
Minari is now On Demand. You can head here to find ways to rent it.
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