(Reuters) – A year after South Korean satire Parasite took Hollywood by storm, another Korean-language film, Minari, is making waves during awards season.
Still, the two films couldn’t be more different.
Parasite, which made history in 2020 as the first foreign language film to win an Oscar for Best Picture, is a grim satire on contemporary class and society in South Korea.
Minari, now in American theaters and arriving in South Korea in March, is a tender, uniquely American story about a 1980s immigrant family trying to improve themselves by starting a farm in Arkansas. Unlike Parasite, it was designed, produced and filmed in the United States.
They speak Korean and talk about a family and the Korean culture involved, but I think this movie talks a lot about what America is. It’s got a lot of people doing a lot of different things, a lot of different backgrounds, and in that way it’s quite different from Parasite, director Lee Isaac Chung said.
An intensely personal story, the film is based in part on Chungs’ own life as a boy growing up in Arkansas, but there is no satire and barely any mention of racism. Instead, the film, which has already won numerous award nominations including the Golden Globes, has been widely adopted for its universal humanity. Oscar nominations have yet to be announced.
Korean-American actor Steven Yeun, who plays the father, said he was terrified of taking on the role.
It was scary to approach the generation of my fathers on a level that is not just a caricature but really tries to enter their humanity. It opened my eyes to how I could misunderstand my own father and this generation as well, Yeun said.
Yeun, best known for her television role in The Walking Dead, is joined by Korean actors Yeri Han as his stressed-out wife and Yuh-Jung Youn as his idiosyncratic stepmother, who all live together in a gang. – Stifling ad in a remote and ruthless. field.
Chung said the warm response to the film so far has been more than he hoped for.
I’m hopeful and happy that it looks like audiences are ready to read the subtitles and watch movies that don’t reflect their own experiences, he said. It seems they identify with what they see, and look more at this shared humanity.
Reporting by Jill Serjeant; edited by Jonathan Oatis
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