Andrew Ahn’s debut film, Spa Night, debuted at Sundance last month, centering on a immigrant Korean family in San Francisco struggling to assimilate while still respecting the traditions of their homeland.
Son David (Joe Seo) takes a job in a Korean spa to help makes ends meet, but discovers a hidden world of gay sex, which he finds terrifying but thrilling.
Spa Night has received rave reviews for its subtle storytelling and compelling performances. The film started with a Kickstarter campaign that raised $62,915. “It was something I really wanted to tell, because it’s a personal story,” said the out writer-director. “It’s something that I feel strongly about. I’m thinking a lot about a gay and Korean-American identity, what does it mean to be both these people?”
“This film is breaking some boundaries,” he adds. “And we’re maybe going to have a little controversy from the Korean-American community because homosexuality isn’t talked about a lot. That’s also why I really knew I had to make this film—it had a meaningfulness to the community.”
Below Ahn and Seo discuss Spa Night with The Wrap.