People Find Hope in Faith and Family-Filled MINARI
By Movieguide® Staff
MINARI’s recent success in the awards circuit proves that critics and audiences crave family movies with faith content.
The movie focuses on the importance of family in life, especially when times are hard. Family, like glue, holds it all together.
Set in the 1980s, MINARI is an autobiographical drama in Korean and English. Jacob Yi is a Korean immigrant who moves his family from California to Rural Arkansas to pursue his dream of becoming a farmer. However, the farm he’s bought only has an elongated mobile home for the family. Jacob’s wife, Monica, isn’t happy about this situation. The parents send for Monica’s mother in California to babysit their two young children while the parents work at a local chicken hatchery. The family’s plans are upset when the little boy doesn’t get along with Grandma and Jacob has problems getting water for his crops. More obstacles follow.
Despite a slow, meandering first half, MINARI picks up as happy and sad events start to impact the Yi family. The movie sneaks up on viewers with very touching and funny moments, including some positive Christian references. Thematically, MINARI is a wonderful, well-acted celebration of family. However, the movie doesn’t resolve the conflict between the parents. Also, MINARI has some foul language, scatological humor, and skepticism toward some religious behavior by the father and grandmother.
“I think the reaction comes from the fact that people’s lives resemble one another. We all go through the same things,” says Yeri Han, who plays Monica in the movie. “Even in the most painful moments in this film, you see this family overcome the struggles with so much love and strength; and I think that’s perhaps why this film resonated with a U.S. audience so much.”
Faith is a prominent theme throughout the movie, as well. The Yi family attends church and is persistent with prayer. Their faith in God helps them as they build a new life.
Even critics loved the movie, as it was nominated for multiple Oscars, BAFTAs and Critics Choice Awards, among others.
MINARI is an excellent example of how audiences and critics really do want uplifting content that includes inspirational elements.