Directed by Wayne Wang
2020, 1hr 27min
Based on a personal essay by Chang-rae Lee that was 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. Wanting nothing more than to fulfill his role as the supportive son, Chang-rae must come to terms with his own 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 New Year’s Eve dinner. 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 their relationship 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 with his mother dying.