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South Korean president, movie fans welcome Youn Yuh-jung’s Oscar win

South Korean filmgoers on Monday (April 26) congratulated the country’s film icon Youn Yuh-jung’s best supporting actress win at the Academy Awards for her role in the film “Minari”.

Youn’s Oscar win was a historic first for any Korean performer, a year after the South Korean-produced “Parasite” was lauded for “breaking the language barrier” when it became the first non-English language film to win Best Picture.

“She really deserved the award as her acting was amazing,” said moviegoer Lee Se-hui, 27, outside a Seoul theatre.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in said Youn’s win rewrote the 102-year history of Korean film, and he praised her acting career as one that ‘gave sympathy to those who have lived in other cultures.’

Moon also noted the Korean heritage of others involved in “Minari,” including director Lee Isaac Chung and Steven Yeun, the first Asian-American to be nominated for a best actor Oscar.

Before Sunday (April 25) Youn had already won more than 30 awards for her role in “Minari” as a grandmother who travels to the United States to watch her grandchildren as their immigrant family tries to start a farm in 1980s Arkansas.

The film resonated widely in the United States at a time when reports of violence against Asian Americans have spiked since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.

(Production: Dogyun Kim, Minwoo Park, Daewoung Kim, Heejung Jung)

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