A healthy ten of us were on Zoom and in the hall to discuss the Korean Oscar winning movie Minari. We also welcomed through our doors a visitor from Minnesota, US, who was so impressed by our community cinema.
Was Minari “an instant classic” as one review had stated? For our gathering, there was much we admired. The film broke a few filmic conventions. David, the little Korean boy with a heart condition actually improved, people who looked like axe murderers turned out to be warm and welcoming and there was no real racism. Even a comment by an Arkansas child to the Korean boy about his face shape ended up with them being firm friends.
The film was about the American Dream and its values of love, perseverance, family and faith were threaded throughout. We appreciated the contradiction between the land being a Garden of Eden and also a constant challenge. While the traumatic incident at the end destroyed, there was also rebirth and growth, in the renewing of a marital relationship and deeper understanding.
We loved the beauty of the filming and the wide panning shots. The symbol of the resilient minari plant, growing in harsh conditions, was very powerful. Our last discussion of 2021 finished with one member’s words, that the film showed “that community is worth its weight in gold.”