Adding to the excitement of upcoming film Minari, Bong Joon Ho and Min Jin Lee have each released insightful interviews with Lee Isaac Chung, the writer, director, and producer of the film. Bong Joon Ho is currently one of the most sought after directors in Hollywood since his film Parasite, swept four Oscars in 2020. Min Jin Lee is the author of Pachinko, a National Book Award finalist which is currently being developed into a mini-series by Apple TV.
Since winning the Grand Jury Prize at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, Minari has been feeling the Oscar buzz with many critics predicting multiple nominations for both Lee Isaac Chung and lead actor Steven Yeun. If nominated, Steven Yeun would be the first Asian American to compete in the best actor category.
The Golden Globes created some controversy late last year when they placed the film in the foreign language category eliminating its chances to compete for Best Picture. Although much of the film is in Korean with English subtitles, Minari is undeniably an American story of immigration, belonging, and the American dream.
In her interview (viewable below), Min Jin Lee asks Chung about the title of the film, which is named after a hardy Korean vegetable that grows robustly in even the worst conditions. In the film, minari seeds are brought over to the states by the Korean grandmother played by legendary actress Youn Yuh-jung. She plants the seeds by a creek near the family farm and it proves to be a beautiful metaphor of persistence and grit in this delicately crafted portrait of a Korean American family struggling to stay together while striving for a better life.
Minari is scheduled for a limited theatrical release on February 12, 2021, and will receive a wider rollout on March 15, 2021.