A popular film that garnered six Oscar nominations this year includes a faith-centric plot about a man “wrestling with God,” the movie’s lead actor says.
Minari was nominated for six Oscars, including for Best Picture, and is based on director Lee Isaac Chung’s boyhood memories in Arkansas.
Chung’s father – “Jacob” in the film – had a goal of turning his plot of land into a profitable farm and quitting his day job at a chicken processing plant. But Jacob faced several trials, including a drought.
“Jacob is an incredibly fascinating character,” actor Steven Yeun says in a new video featurette that spotlights the film’s faith themes. “He's a man wrestling with God.’
The parents in the film are churchgoers.
Yeun plays Jacob. He was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actor. Minari also received nominations for Best Supporting Actress (Yuh-Jung Youn), Best Director (Chung), Best Original Score (Emile Mosseri) and Best Screenplay (Chung). Alan Kim, who plays a young David Yi, also won the Critic’s Choice Award for Best Young Performer for his role in the film.
“Growing up in Arkansas, you don't really see too many films about the South,” Chung says. “A lot of times you see caricatures. But you don’t really see human stories that are set there.”
Minari shows Chung’s Korean-American family being welcomed at a church that is predominantly white.
Mosseri, the composer, called it a “dream for me” to “write music that feels spiritually connected to the film.”
Chung told Deadline last year that he hopes the movie lifts the spirits of the audience.
“I hope that it offers some kind of hope or something to have after everything that’s happened this year,” he said. “It’s so easy to be trite about everything that’s happened, but I think this film is born of a true pain, in a way, that I feel I’ve wrestled with in my own life, but then also a lot of joy, and a lot of hope that I feel I’ve been blessed with on the other side of that.”
Photo courtesy: ©A24
Video courtesy: ©A24
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.