Directed by Cathy Tang
In an innocent story of an immigrant mother trying to reconnect with her son, Mama Tang struggles to find a place of her own in his San Francisco home. Even when making her son’s favorite Chinese food, her search for acceptance is hard to find.
DIRECTOR’S STATEMENT: Who takes time to listen to the elderly these days? Having grown up with my grandmother, I had a front seat on aging and the challenges that we face as we get older. The challenges are not merely physical limitations. They are also the slow and dreadful realization that you are less useful, less needed and less relevant than you used to be. When I volunteered at a nursing home, I was deeply saddened about the plight of the residents, who had lived full lives but were now fading into obscurity.
I made “Mama Tang” as a tribute to our older generation, who have experienced a lot, lived rich lives and deserve to be remembered and appreciated in their old age. Our society today doesn’t allow easy ways to bring them into the fold of our daily lives.
Many people have told me that after watching my film, they called their mother. To me, that’s the best praise possible.
Cathy Tang grew up in Hangzhou, China and lived with her grandmother for the first eight years of her life. When she finally immigrated to the US, her grandmother came with her. So began a long process of adaptation for both of them — learning a foreign language, discovering strange foods like kentucky fried chicken, and grasping an entirely new culture.