Coming Home Again

Coming Home Again

Directed by Wayne Wang
U.S. | 2019 | Narrative
86 minutes | English
Available Nov. 5-22
Available Only in MO/IL

Directed by Wayne Wang (“Chan Is Missing,” “The Joy Luck Club”) and based on a New Yorker personal essay by Chang-rae Lee, “Coming Home Again” is an intimate family drama about a mother, a son, and the burden of family expectations. The film’s main character, also named Chang-rae (the charismatic Justin Chon), a first-generation Korean-American, returns to his family home in San Francisco to care for his ailing mother (a powerful Jackie Chung), who is dying of stomach cancer. Wanting nothing more than to fulfill his role as the supportive son, he must come to terms with his own conflicted emotions. The film takes place over the course of one full day during which Chang-rae attempts to prepare a traditional Korean New Year’s Eve dinner — just like the one his mother always cooked for the family. The care and precision that goes into preparing this meal give him time to reflect on the intense relationship between them. Hammer to Nail writes: “Avoiding most of the pitfalls of maudlin stories of death and grief, Wang gives us, instead, a vibrant examination of filial love. The movie functions as a true testament to the way memory functions, mixing times in a resonant stew of regret, longing, desire and hope. It’s a profound experience, and by the end of ‘Coming Home Again,’ we feel at home, ourselves, and transported by the visit.”