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Director: Lee Isaac Chung  Starring: Steven Yeun, Han Ye-ri, Alan Kim, Noel Kate Cho, Youn Yuh-jung  Run Time: 115 minutes


The story of the immigrant experience is one that is very familiar to Irish audiences, all of whom know someone who has taken up and gone away, or who they themselves have been and gone, maybe coming back, maybe not. It’s challenging enough even when, very often for our own diaspora, you’re arriving in a place where a large amount of people are still like you, culturally speaking. To move from Korean to the United States, as the central Yi family has done in the events preceding Minari, is a significant shift itself. But to move from the city, with young kids and a tense marriage, all to try to make it on temperamental Arkansas farmland is an even tricker business altogether.

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Director: Bong Joon-ho Starring: Ahn Seo-hyun, Tilda Swinton, Paul Dano, Jake Gyllenhall, Steven Yeun Running Time: 120 minutes

As the medium of film is explored further and further, filmmakers are discovering new and innovative ways to tell the stories that they want to tell. As a result, larger and more complex themes can be explored in 90-120 minute segments at a level that was never thought possible. Over the past few years, science fiction and animation have been able to tell us more about our humanity and morality than most other genres: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Pixar’s Up explored what it meant to be lonely, Wall-E offered a glimpse into the trajectory and repercussions of modern western lifestyles, District 9 explored social stratification under the facade of an action movie, and 2001: A Space Odyssey explored mankind itself… period! Taking all of this into account, it shouldn’t really surprise you to know that Bong Joon-Ho’s (The Host, Snowpiercer) newest movie Okja revolves around a giant, mutant, grey pig, yet tackles such themes as consumerism, capitalism and greed. What will surprise you, however, is just how spectacularly beautiful the movie is.

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