Movie Analysis Of Gook

1272 Words6 Pages

The story of Gook, written and directed by Justin Chon, follows the story of two Korean brothers, Eli and Daniel, and their struggle to maintain their father’s shoe business. They live in Paramount, a city characterized heavily by poverty and diversity. Eli and Daniel work at a shoe store where a young African American girl, Kamilla, frequently visits. Eli and Daniel eventually become Kamilla’s mentor and cares for her. Kamilla’s connection to the two brothers conflicts with her brother, Keith, and his negative view of Asian Americans. Keith acts on his angers against the Asian Americans and attempts to steal from the Asian American community. The plot is set in the backdrop of the Rodney King riots, which emphasizes a moment in history when …show more content…

Gook does not simply show the Korean side of the struggle or the African American side of the struggle, but it displays both of their struggles and how they converge. Eli and Daniel attempt to maintain their father’s shoe business, but they fall behind in rent and must buy illegally in order to maintain their store, while many Kamilla and her family deals with abusive households and poverty. Both ethnic groups share the same struggle, but the mainstream media pushes the Model Minority myth to create the imaginary that all Asians Americans always do well. This misrepresentation of Asian Americans creates a division between the Korean and African American communities by taking the story out of context. Gook challenges this racial division and describes the interdependency among the Asian, Latino, and African American community. Eli mentors Kamilla, a young African American girl. He hires Jesus, a Latino worker who helps with the store. He serves a large majority of African American customers. The different ethnic communities collaborate to support each other. One community may offer services and products, and another community may purchase these services and product. Thus, none of them have isolated from one another, especially the Asian American community. The Korean American community in Gook challenged the Model Minority Myth, since it did not stand above the other ethnic communities as a …show more content…

Race is one of the major premises in the story. Race cements the conflict across the Korean and African American racial barrier. This is exemplified through Keith, who blames the Korean Americans for “prospering” while the African American community remains destitute. This conflict reaches a climax in which Keith threatens to burn down Eli’s shoe store, but Kamilla accidently shoots herself while trying to stop Keith. The death of Kamilla changes Keith’s and Eli’s attitude from anger to worry. Both Eli and Keith disregard their feud to help Kamilla. They carry Kamilla to the hospital, and there they share a moment of vulnerability. They cry in the hallway of the hospital as they wait to hear the news on Kamilla. This moment of humaneness embodies the fundamental human experience shared across the boundaries of race. Koreans and African Americans have the ability to hate, but they also the ability to love. Eli’s and Keith’s love for Kamilla overcame their hate for each other. Regardless of their racial differences, both Eli and Keith appealed to their human identity to protect

Open Document