Few things go as deliciously together as food and family, just as few things sour as quickly as family drama. On this daebak episode of the Popzara Podcast we deal with both as our own Nathan Evans and – making her podcast debut – Evelyn Wong are joined by writer, attorney, and K-Pop stan supreme Kat Kim to chat about Happy Cleaners, her new film that follows a first and second-generation family of Korean-immigrants struggling to hold things together they face losing their dry cleaning business in Flushing, NYC.
It’s a story of what it takes to survive in an ever-changing America, the sacrifices one family makes to ensure their children have better opportunities than their own, and whether the “hyphen” separating their ancestral and current homelands is a barrier – or a bridge.
From conception to distribution, Kat shares what it’s like creating (and releasing) a film during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, working with her longtime team of Julian Kim and Peter S. Lee (co-directors and co-writers on the film), managing a successful crowdfunding campaign, and partnering with KoreanAmericanStory.org to bring this uniquely American story to mainstream audiences.
Our trio also discuss the too-frequent incidents of anti-Asian racism that often goes unreported, differences in traditional Asian and American parenting techniques, and the critical importance of food. We’re not kidding. Just how important is food to the Asian family dynamic? (spoiler: more than you could possibly imagine) And can one woman possibly love K-Pop too much? Mas-issge deuseyo!