Harry Yoon interview: ‘Minari’ editor

Editor Harry Yoon was immediately drawn to “Minari.” As the child of Korean-American immigrants who owned their own small business, Yoon felt a close connection with Lee Isaac Chung‘s screenplay and signed on as the film editor. “I feel like I was born to edit this movie because so much of my personal experience resonated when I read the script,” says Yoon in an exclusive new interview for Gold Derby. “Every scene that I read was like a little explosion of memory for me.” Watch the full interview above.

What makes “Minari” special is that it isn’t told solely from the perspective of young David (Alan S. Kim), his father, Jacob (Steven Yeun) or his mother, Monica (Yeri Han) — it is everyone’s story. Yoon discovered in paring down the film to its most essential parts that he was able to craft a more complete story. “Scenes started to speak to each other — little accidental moments where the experience of the son resonated with the mother, the mother resonated with the father,” explains Yoon. “So there’s a kind of dialogue going on visually and emotionally between the scenes that contributed to the sense that this is the family’s story.”

“Minari” has become a big player with critics’ awards and while such accolades are always impossible to predict when you’re working on a film, Yoon first had a sense that it would resonate with people when he was editing one scene in particular. It is the scene where Monica tells her mother, “It must have been so hard for you to travel so far,” a line riddled with meaning and relevance to the immigrant experience. “I felt like, ‘If we can keep this tone, if we can keep this truth happening throughout the film, then this is going to be like a gift to so many people who’ve had that experience,'” recalls Yoon. “I’m just so happy, even if you’re not an immigrant, that you’re able to resonate with that feeling of how precious family is.”

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UPLOADED Jan 26, 2021 12:30 pm