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Coming Home Again


Wayne Wang


Naja Pham Lockwood, Donald Young, Heidi Levitt

Based on a personal essay by Chang-Rae Lee published in The New Yorker, "Coming Home Again" is an intimate family drama about a mother, a son, and the burden of family expectations. Chang-Rae, a first-generation Korean American, has returned to his family home in San Francisco to care for his ailing mother. He wants only to fulfill his role as the supportive son, but must also come to terms with his conflicted emotions towards his mother. The film takes place over the course of one full day. During this day, he attempts to prepare a traditional Korean dinner for New Year's Eve. The one she always cooked for the family. The care and precision that goes into preparing this meal gives him time to reflect on the intense relationship between them. Memories about it become a doorway into a woman who was so much more than the mother he thought he knew. Chang-Rae is now faced with the dilemma of living with the permanent scars of family sacrifice unresolved, or the risk of opening new wounds


"I wasn't cooking for my mother but for the rest of us. When she first moved downstairs she was still eating, though scantily, more just to taste what we were having than from any genuine desire for food. The point was simply to sit together at the kitchen table and array ourselves like a family again."

-From The New Yorker article "Coming Home Again" by Chang-Rae Lee

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