After losing her husband, So-young relocates to Canada in the 1990s with her young son, Dong-hyun, in tow. Determined to provide a better life for him than the one she left behind, So-young does her best to overcome the constant racial and cultural challenges that confront them. The mother is set on building her new life, which now includes a relationship with a Korean Canadian man who is eager to take on the role of Dong-hyun’s father.
Dong-hyun is brutally bullied by his classmates, and he isn’t helped by the timid, distinctly Canadian racism of his teacher and principal, who consider the family “troublesome.” At work, So-young battles loneliness and racist and sexist comments. As they negotiate their separate circumstances, the rift between mother and son grows. Unwelcome news sparks an unplanned return to South Korea — and the in-laws So-young hasn’t spoken to in many years — might open up the possibility of mutual understanding. Director Anthony Shim’s deep engagement with his subjects sparks profound, affecting revelations.
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