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Umma (2022). Umma: Directed by Iris K. Shim. With Danielle K. Golden, Hana Marie Kim, Mark Kirksey, MeeWha Alana Lee. Amanda and her daughter live a quiet life on an American farm, but when the remains of her estranged mother arrive from Korea, Amanda becomes haunted by the fear of turning into her own mother.

“Umma, if anything, really shows that writer-director Iris K. Shim has true promise as a storyteller. The film tackles two primary themes that have a great deal of complexity to them: rocky parent-child relationships and the difficulties of being part of multiple cultures.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eWhile in the hands of a lesser storyteller, the questions posed by these themes could be provided with easy, half-baked answers that arenu0026#39;t satisfying in the least. But Shim acknowledges that life is messy, and there really are no cut-and-dry right or wrong perspectives portrayed throughout her story.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThe mother and daughter in the film are both shown to have validity to their perspectives of their relationship, and the way that they each find peace within themselves by the filmu0026#39;s conclusion is very cathartic and nuanced.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eUmma handles the mother-daughter dichotomy far more successfully than Pixaru0026#39;s recent insulting mess Turning Red. And Shimu0026#39;s juggling of her ideas cannot be praised enough.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eStill, her film does have its weaknesses. Firstly, the dialogue is sometimes laughably on-the-nose, not being up to par with the nuanced story material.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eAlso, the horror elements are a mixed bag. Sometimes Shim trusts the audience to have their own reaction to the haunting imagery, but other times she falls back on insultingly obvious jump scares.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eItu0026#39;s no masterpiece or instant classic, but this was a thoroughly investing story with complicated, real humans at its core and Iu0026#39;m excited to see what Shin could do next (preferably with a co-writer).”

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