Tom (DARREN YAP), a Chinese Australian man in his early forties, writes about his childhood. We see the story unfold as he does. It is 1964. TomGÇÖs mother, Rose Hong (JOAN CHEN), a beautiful and glamorous Shanghai nightclub singer, meets Bill (STEVEN VIDLER), an Australian sailor, and migrates to Victoria with her two children, Tom (JOEL LOK) and May (IRENE CHEN). However, their marriage is short-lived and Rose and her children move to Sydney, where she spends the next seven years working in Chinese restaurants. In 1971, Rose, May and Tom return to the outer suburbs of Melbourne to live with Bill. Rose and Bill are attempting to reconcile. Much to her chagrin, Rose learns that BillGÇÖs mother Norma (KERRY WALKER) also lives in BillGÇÖs house. When Bill is called away by the Navy, a battle ensues between the two women for control of the house, a battle which Norma eventually wins, kicking Rose and her children out. Rose moves into a new place with a new lover, Joe (QI YUWU), a Chinese cook who is several years younger than her. But Joe soon feels the strain of being in a relationship with a middle-aged woman with two children. In fact, he finds that he has more in common with RoseGÇÖs daughter, May, than with Rose. They form a friendship. But Rose misunderstands the meaning of this growing friendship and all hell breaks loose as she accuses May of undermining her. In the ensuing drama, mother and daughter reach the depths of despair. But eventually they find some common ground when Rose tells May about the terrible tribulations which she (Rose) experienced as a young woman. For the first time, May understands where her motherGÇÖs wild and erratic behavior comes from. It is a moment of love and forgiveness. The adult Tom retells these stories of his childhood and in doing so, comes to a better understanding of his mother and himself. Based on writer/director Tony Ayres' own life, THE HOME SONG STORIES is an epic tale of mothers and sons, mothers and daughters, unrequited love, betrayal and secrets.
Home Song Stories
How far do you have to journey to find your home?