LIQUOR STORE DREAMSDirected by So Yun Um
Official Selection, 2022 Tribeca Film Festival
Official Selection, 2022 Busan International Film Festival
In her debut documentary feature, So Yun Um grounds personal experience in historical context through a fascinating exploration of racial tensions, generational healing, and immigrant struggles. LIQUOR STORE DREAMS begins with So thinking through her identity as a filmmaker and more importantly, an interview with her dad.
Every day for the past 20 years, So’s dad has worked long, grueling hours running one of the many Korean-owned liquor stores in LA. He doesn’t want her to be in the film industry; it’s too hard. So almost finds it strange that a “liquor store baby” like her would want to make films, but she’s inspired by fellow “liquor store baby” Danny, who relinquishes a dream job at Nike to take care of the family store when his father passes.
Together, Danny and So grapple with the chasm between them and their parents, from disagreements about marriage to attitudes towards Black Lives Matter. So manages to combine an excavation of family history with a rich lesson in the history of the community surrounding their liquor stores. The two are inexorably linked in the same way the dreams of our parents shape and co-exist with our own dreams. It’s something that goes beyond words alone. This is the gift of LIQUOR STORE DREAMS.
Directed by Grace Jung
A day-in-the-life chronicle turned life tale of Joe Iwama, a 99-year-old Japanese American internment survivor and owner of J&S Auto.