Asian Americans have been farming around the United States for generations. Only recently have Korean American farmers been recognized in Minari.
When the filmmaker Lee Isaac Chung began writing a movie based on his childhood as the son of a Korean immigrant farmer in Arkansas, he worried about how it might resonate on a wider level. “I used to not trust that specificity about my own self: I didn’t think it would be interesting to people,” he tells TIME. “I felt like my experiences were so particular and strange.”
Before the film’s release, TIME asked several Korean-American farmers to watch the film and reflect on the aspects of it that resonated. Here are their stories, and the history that paved the way for them.