Justin Chon is a moviemaker with a message. Though he’s been acting steadily for more than 15 years, it has been since making the leap to writer-director that Chon has made his biggest impact. The trailer for his newest film, Blue Bayou, dropped on YouTube on Tuesday—the same day it made its premiere at Cannes. And it couldn’t be any more timely.
The film stars Chon as Antonio LeBlanc, a Korea-born, Louisiana-raised adoptee who has lived in America for more than 30 years. Though he ran into some troubles with the law in the past, all of that is now behind Antonio, who has opted for a quiet life of welcome domesticity with his beloved wife Kathy (Alicia Vikander), who is pregnant with their first child, and his step-daughter Jessie (Sydney Kowalske), whom he adores. But Antonio’s past misdeeds come back to haunt him in the most painful way possible when what could have been an avoidable scuffle sees Antonio facing deportation from the country he has always called home.
Given the recent conversations around U.S. immigration policies and citizenship questions surrounding Dreamers, Chon’s film couldn’t have come at a better time. In his review of Blue Bayou for The Wrap, critic Steve Pond wrote that “there’s an admirable urgency with which [the film] tackles significant issues in U.S. immigration policy” and describes it as something “like a cousin to Moonlight in the way it explores Southern identity among those who are often dispossessed.”
Like his earlier films Ms. Purple (2019) and Gook (2017), Chon explores the themes of immigration, integration, family, the American Dream, politics, and the true ties that bind in deeply affecting ways. You can watch the full trailer above.
Blue Bayou will be released by Focus Features on September 17, 2021.