By julia sartor on February 12, 2017

This film premiered in the Sundance film category NEXT. Justin Chon is the brain child behind the film. He plays one of the main characters, has written the script and directs the film. Justin Chon gives a voice to his own story during the time of the LA riots. In the first few minutes of the film you notice the tone, tempo, and feel. The film is done completely in black and white giving it a classic and artistic feel. And takes us back to the early 90s. One quickly forgets about the lack of color because the story is rich in content. A precocious young black girl Kamilla is first on the scene being told to go to school by an older sister. Its obvious that she's in the way rather the center of attention. Kamilla is constantly encouraged to go to school in the opening scene but never gets there. She ventures to a small shoe store where two Korean brothers running the store Eli and Daniel encourage her to go to school. Its clear that they have a history with Kamilla and she convinces them to let her stay and help in the shop that day. Its an unlikely friendship two guys who are young twenty somethings and a girl who is around the age of 10. The unexpected friendship lends a breathe of fresh air to the film in contrast to the harsh language and the rough times they face living in LA.

Through tragedy and adversity you see the lead characters come undone, rise to be better, and confront injustice. Eli confronts Kamilla when she steals and then backs her up when the shop owner across the street Mr. Kim pulls a gun on Kamilla. Eli, Daniel, and Kamilla have a dance party in the shop and allow themselves to enjoy life and the company of each other. Eli and Daniel struggle to make ends meet financially, Eli supports Daniels wish to become a singer (after he makes fun of him), and together they all try to save the shoes that are a main source of income. Even though its Eli who is mostly concerned about the shoes. These three unlikely characters call each other to greatness, to think beyond themselves and advocate at different times for the other. Through friendship they find identity, belonging, and love. They are family motivated out of struggle to seek belonging and although they moan and complain they are selfless in their love for each other. You see God in this makeshift family as they fight for each other and with each other. As we live and move and have our being he is amongst us working in us and through us as people who are created in his image. The fierce love that God has for us and his desire to fight for us is reflected in the family of Eli, Kamilla, and Daniel.

About the Author: julia sartor

2 Responses to "Gook"

  1. Thanks for reviewing this film. This is the first I’m hearing of it, and it sounds like a great film!

    by Dea Jenkins on Feb 15th, 2017 at 12:38 am
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