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HomeVideoWATCH: Director Lee Isaac Chung on how faith grounds 'Minari'

WATCH: Director Lee Isaac Chung on how faith grounds ‘Minari’

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.

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