Koreatown Blues

Institute History


Koreatown, Los Angeles, two years after the riots . . . Sun-hee, an Asian woman born in America, witnesses her immigrant father Kang's emotional disintegration as he finds himself rapidly losing everything he's worked for.

As she helps her father out at his autobody shop, her Americanized, middle-class naiveté gets shaken when she perceives her father's mistreatment of his Latino workers and his fear of other ethnic groups. Her efforts to help him are also complicated by the emotional and generational gap between them, as her father pressures her to marry a Korean man.

Finding nothing in common with the suitor, she rebelliously goes out with Fernando, a Mexican mechanic from the shop. Their relationship forces her to confront her own prejudices about race and social class. As she develops a real love affair with Fernando, the father-daughter relationship deteriorates accordingly, and Sun-hee decides she needs to leave her father behind.

Through this conflict, the family relationship is tested. Only through mutual respect do they begin to find a common ground as Kang finally accepts his daughter's need to run her own life, while Sun-hee realizes that she can find independence without abandoning him.


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