Minari ★★★★

Minari does something that is pretty novel for a story centered around non-white immigrants in that it allows the Yi family to be self-reliant. It does not have the Yi family become part of the local Korean diaspora community, nor do they ever completely eschew their Korean roots to better fit into the white community. Instead we see the Yi's trying their hands at the true American Dream: economic self-determination and land ownership. Their failures and successes are squarely their own, never propped up by a support system outside of the family unit. This is not to say that stories incorporating the larger immigrant community are not illustrative of the American Dream. Rather, it is refreshing to see a non-white family at the center of a narrative that is seemingly reserved for white people.
Though Minari is beautifully shot, there's something about it that feels almost... generic? The slices of life broken up with wide, lush atmospheric shots feels almost cliché at this point? There is nothing bad about it, but there's also nothing to distinguish it from other moody, indie family portraits of the last 5 years. I don't know... Maybe that's uncalled for, but that's how I felt!

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