Jake (Colin Farrell), Kyra (Jodie Turner-Smith), and their youngest, Mika (Malea Emma Tjandrawidjaja), make up a family that exists in the future, a family completed only by Yang (Justin H. Min), an android purchased to help Mika learn more about her Chinese culture. We quickly learn, however, that he is much more than just a robot to them. Everything changes when Yang unexpectedly breaks down, and as they desperately search for a way to fix him, they discover parts about Yang’s past that ultimately reveal much more about themselves.

In Kogonada’s film, Columbus, the locations themselves deserved to be considered characters in their own right. In this sci-fi film based on the short story Saying Goodbye to Yang by Alexander Weinstein, this aspect of Kogonada’s filmmaking is no different. The immersive set design transports the viewer into a world that takes place sometime in the future, with the meticulously styled architecture and lighting creating a breathtaking experience.

Going into this film, it was almost expected that we would yet again witness Kogonada’s unique eye for the beauty in everyday life, and these expectations were certainly exceeded. Kogonada’s introspective films are made with such care and attention to detail, and it’s clear to see that there’s also so much love that goes into every scene and in every line of dialogue. During the course of After Yang, we witness someone else’s memories, but they are crafted so that it makes us feel nostalgic for our own past and for those that we have mourned.

After Yang discusses the search for one’s identity and what it means to be alive, particularly as an Asian person. Although this film exists in a future we don’t truly understand in the present, the universal feelings of grief after suffering loss ring true.



CAST: Colin Farrell, Jodie Turner-Smith, Justin H. Min, Malea Emma Tjandrawidjaja, Haley Lu Richardson

DIRECTOR: Kogonada

WRITERS: Kogonada, Alexander Weinstein

SYNOPSIS: In a near future, a family reckons with their grief after their A.I. helper breaks down.