Expanding from her well-received short film, LA-based filmmaker So Yun Um’s LIQUOR STORE DREAMS is a moving and personal film about immigrant dreams and generational divides. It follows Um and her friend Danny, both “liquor store babies,” whose Korean parents made the best of limited opportunities by running liquor stores in Black and Brown communities in Southern California. Um mines her own artistic journey of filmmaking as a career track, to the befuddlement of her father. Meanwhile, Danny returns home to help her mother at the family’s store located in downtown LA’s Skid Row, leaving a lucrative career at Nike. He has high-minded dreams to build bridges between Black and Korean communities, strained over the decades sparked by the Rodney King riots of the early ’90s.
In this vibrant and bold film, So turns the camera on herself, her community and her friends, presenting an intimate picture of mindful coalition building and a new generation’s desire to ease tensions and ameliorate political and cultural strife, while still respecting their parents’ sacrifices in pursuit of the American dream.