In the latest from writer/director Justin Chon (SIFF 2017’s Gook), a Koreatown karaoke hostess and her estranged brother are forced to reconnect as their bedridden father’s health takes a turn for the worse.
"A performance that is both vulnerable and fearsome, softhearted and severe all at once."—IndieWire
In 2017, writer/director Justin Chon took the film-festival circuit by storm with Gook, a racially charged indie comedy about two Korean-American brothers during the first day of the 1992 Rodney King riots. Now he's back with Ms. Purple, a drama about the sacrifices we make for family. Kasie (Tiffany Chu) struggles to take care of her comatose father, making ends meet as a Koreatown karaoke hostess whose work obligations often cross the line into illegal activity as obnoxious, drunk businessmen paw her and treat her as property. She's more than able to handle herself, though, and has even snagged herself a wealthy sugar daddy in the process. But when her father's in-home nurse leaves for greener pastures, she calls her estranged brother Carey (Teddy Lee), who abandoned the family years earlier. Since she refuses to put their father in hospice care—he was there for them when their mother left—she insists Carey repay the favor. As the two siblings reconnect, they enter a period of intense self-reflection that will test their familial loyalties and expose the regrets of lives not yet fully lived. Ms. Purple's look is clearly influenced by the cinematographic work of Christopher Doyle—Wong Kar-Wai's longtime collaborator—creating a vision of Los Angeles pulsating with life and potential.
Justin Chon wrote, directed, and starred in Gook, which led him to win the NEXT Audience Award at Sundance and the Kiehl's Someone to Watch Award at the 2018 Film Independent Spirit Awards. Chon is an Orange County, CA native, and is of Korean descent. He majored in business at the University of Southern California, and was a member of the K-pop parody group "Boys Generally Asian."
Sponsored by Ingeniux, KING 5, Puget Systems
- Director: Justin Chon
- Principal Cast: Tiffany Chu, Teddy Lee, Octavio Pizano, James Kang
- Country: USA
- Year: 2019
- Running Time: 87 minutes
- Producer: Alex Chi, Justin Chon, Alan Pao
- Screenplay: Justin Chon, Chris Dinh
- Cinematographers: Ante Cheng
- Editors: Reynolds Barney, Jon Berry
- Music: Matthew Hearon-Smith
- Website: Official Film Website
- Awards: Sundance Film Festival, 2019 (Nominee - Grand Jury Prize)
- Filmography: Gook (2017); Man Up (2015)
- Language: English, Korean
- Has Subtitles: Yes
- Format: DCP
- US Distributor: Oscilloscope Laboratories
- International Sales: 30West