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GOOK Review by The Curvy Film Critic

We hate slang.  Why?  Often times it is associated with an ethnic group and often times that slang terminology has a negative connotation.  So, is Gook a negative term?

Gook is still a controversial slur. The history behind it is that during the Korean war,  American G.I.’s  referred to Koreans as “gook”.  However, in Korean the word ‘gook’ actually means country.
However, in the context of the new film written, directed and starred in by Justin Chon, it takes on a whole new meaning altogether.
Many films have been released this year to commemorate the Los Angeles riots.  Almost all of these films are told from an African-American, police or media point of view.  Gook is the first film to dramatize this subject from an Asian point of view.


Eli and Daniel, two Korean American brothers who own a struggling women’s shoe store, have an unlikely friendship with 11-year-old Kamilla. On the first day of the 1992 L.A. riots, the trio must defend the store while contemplating the meaning of family and thinking about personal dreams and the future.

Unlike most of the films that have attacked the issue of the LA Riots, Gook is not shoving an ideology down your throat or taking any sides in the issue.  Justin Chon is simply telling the story from the point of view of three individuals and how this event colored all of their lives that day in 1992.

Shot in black and white, it was refreshing to see someone addressing the stereotypes often associated with their culture from their own vantage point.  A technique often illustrated beautifully in the films of such filmmakers as Justin Simien (Dear White People), Spike Lee and John Singleton.  Obviously, the torch has been passed and now seen through a very welcomed yet different lens.

Produced by Samuel Goldwyn Films, Gook hits theaters in limited release on August 18th.  I recently had the opportunity to sit down and chat with Justin Chon about his journey to becoming the Asian Sean Penn, David So and his collaboration with Kevin Hart’s L.O.L. network and Simone Baker about her many aspirations before setting on becoming an actress, not to mention some major Easter eggs that rolled out  about this extraordinarily prolific flick…






I love, love love movies, watching them and discussing them...thus the birth of The Curvy Film Critic!!! Host/Producer/FilmCritic,Carla Renata is a member of such esteemed organizations as Critics Choice Association (Co-President Documentary Branch and Board Member), African American Film Critics Association and Online Association of Female Film Critics. My op-eds or features have been seen in Variety ,, The Wrap The Cherry Picks, as well as being a frequent Guest Contributor to Fox 11-LA, Good Day LA, ET Live!, Turner Classic Movies, The Cherry Picks, The Stream Team (Beond TV) ITV, Fox Soul's The Black Report, The ListTV and more. Catch my reviews on The Curvy Critic with Carla Renata - LIVE!!! Sundays 5pm PST via You Tube or Facebook Live. If you like what you read please shout me out and subscribe to The Curvy Critic on YouTube. You can chat with me across all social media platforms @TheCurvyCritic and as always, thanks for supporting a sista'

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