South Korea's movie theaters have had a tough year in the pandemic fewer films released and limits on their operations.
But for a day, it almost seemed like things were back to normal.
"Movie lovers were flocking to the theaters from as early as 9 AM, eager to watch Korean-American director Lee Isaac Chung’s globally acclaimed film ‘Minari’, which finally hit the domestic screens on Wednesday."
According to the Korean Film Council, as of Wednesday afternoon, 'Minari' accounted for more than 30 percent of the day's ticket sales.
Those first audiences said they could see why the movie got so much recognition, and that it reminded them of their own families.
"The whole time, I thought of my uncle. He immigrated to the U.S. at a similar time as the Lee family in the 80s and he also has two children, a daughter and a son. He wasn't a farmer, but he told me a lot about his struggle to build a new life. I was in the U.S. too for more than a year, so I thought about the Korean-Americans I met there."
"It's the first time I've been to the movies in a long time, and I was happy to see such a touching movie. The last scene was so memorable, when the actress Youn Yuh-jung was gazing at the whole family. Seeing the family reach the verge of breaking apart, but eventually getting through it, reminded me of the importance of family."
The film 'Minari' has so far won 77 awards and 157 nominations from renowned film festivals and critics associations, including the Golden Globes.
It tells the story of the Lee family fictional Korean-American immigrants who settled in Arkansas how they struggled to achieve the American Dream.
It stars Steven Yeun, Han Yeri, and veteran actress Youn Yuh-jung.
Lee Issac Chung's semi-autobiographical tale will appeal, as the director put it in his Golden Globes acceptance speech, to those who want to learn the "language of the heart."
Kim Bo-kyoung, Arirang news.