When the Yi family joins a local church service in rural Arkansas, nobody knows what to say or do. Sitting among the congregation of farming families — all dressed in their Sunday best — the family receives a frown from a boy in the pew in front of them. The pastor asks them to stand, calling out: “What a beautiful family. We’re so glad you’re here!” The congregation looks on, wide-eyed and curious.
The encounter, neither welcoming nor hostile, marks the Yi family’s first experience meeting a community of churchgoers in the film “Minari,” about a Korean American family who start a new life in northwestern Arkansas in the 1980s.
For “Minari,” writer and director Lee Isaac Chung drew on his memories of religion growing up in the south. As a child of Korean immigrants, his family moved to Arkansas when he was about 2 years old.
Stream your PBS favorites with the PBS app: https://to.pbs.org/2Jb8twG
Find more from PBS NewsHour at https://www.pbs.org/newshour
Subscribe to our YouTube channel: https://bit.ly/2HfsCD6
PBS NewsHour podcasts: https://www.pbs.org/newshour/podcasts