Hyperallergic is proud to premiere the newest piece by video essayist Kevin B. Lee. You can stream it here exclusively through July 14 — Dan Schindel, Associate Editor for Documentary

On March 15, Lee Isaac Chung’s Minari earned six Academy Award nominations, including for Best Picture — an unprecedented feat for a film featuring an Asian American story, cast, and director. The next day, eight people, six of whom were women of Asian descent, were murdered by a mass shooter in three Atlanta-area spas. The proximity of these events starkly sets the poles of the Asian American experience, between exalted model minorities and dehumanized figures toiling at the margins of society. Those two archetypes have stood throughout the complex history of Asians in America. My attempts to reflect on these extremes, and how they inform each other, led to the making of this video essay, “Mourning with Minari.”

I express gratitude to Hyperallergic for publishing this video, especially because they previously published Peter Kim George’s indispensable Minari Isn’t Really About the American Dream. It’s About U.S. Empire.” The lens that Kim’s article provides, enabling deeper layers of context around the film, offered a valuable pretext for devising my own response.

Kevin B. Lee is a filmmaker and video essayist based in Berlin. He is co-director of the masters program in artistic research at Merz Akademie in Stuttgart.

One reply on “Kevin B. Lee’s New Video Essay Explores Mourning with Minari

  1. This essay is an outstanding and creative juxtaposition of the Atlanta shootings and the complexity of artistic validation/celebration of Asian American stories. I am impressed with its centering of living within deeply embedded injustice, racism, and gender violence while also do not deny other stories….how do we as a society hold both at the same time?
    How do we live in this deeply troubled space while value and celebrate its beautiful fiction well? Can both be true at the same time? Is one truer than the other?

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