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"She's the reason I made this film," Lee Isaac Chung said of his daughter during his acceptance speech

By Benjamin VanHoose
February 28, 2021 10:43 PM
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Her prayers were answered!

During the 2021 Golden Globes Sunday night, Minari was awarded best motion picture - foreign language. When the camera cut to director Lee Isaac Chung for his acceptance speech, his 7-year-old daughter excitedly hugged her dad and proclaimed, "I prayed! I prayed!"

In his speech, the filmmaker thanked the team behind the drama, as well as his wife, whom he said was "hiding over there," and he thanked "this one here," signaling to his daughter clinging close to him.

"She's the reason I made this film," he said. "I just want to say that Minari is about a family. It's a family trying to learn how to speak a language of its own. It goes deeper than any American language and any foreign language. It's a language of the heart, and I'm trying to learn it myself and to pass it on, and I hope we'll all learn how to speak this language of love to each other, especially this year. God bless you all, and thank you."

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Minari stars Steven Yeun as Jacob and Yeri Han as Monica, Korean-American immigrants who migrate to a farm in Arkansas in pursuit of the American dream. While the movie largely features Korean dialogue, it's been labeled the quintessential American movie with its admirers pointing to how the film's themes are as American as they come.

Minari Director Lee Isaac Chung

In a December conversation for Variety, Chung explained how making the film was cathartic for his own relationship with his parents.

"Just as Jacob is trying to farm and to chase this dream, I felt like for many years I've been irresponsibly chasing a dream of filmmaking," he said at the time. "So something within understanding my dad's pursuit and then also the conflicts that can come from that. And then also understanding the perspective of what it's like for my daughter to be watching what I'm doing and my wife's concerns and all these things."

"I felt it was helping me to see my parents in a different way. Then when my parents saw [the film], to see that they felt I had seen them," he added. "The way that they responded was 'You understand us; you see us.' And to me, that was incredibly moving."