After Yang parents guide

After Yang Parent Guide

Insightful, touching, and made without sex and violence, this is a little jewel of a film.

Overall A-

Theaters: Yang is an android who acts as a surrogate older brother to Mika. When Yang malfunctions, Mika's parents must figure out how to save their family.

Release date March 4, 2022

Violence A
Sexual Content A
Profanity C+
Substance Use A

Why is After Yang rated PG? The MPAA rated After Yang PG for some thematic elements and language

Run Time: 96 minutes

Parent Movie Review

Tea-shop owner Jake (Colin Farrell) and his wife, Kyra (Jodie Turner-Smith) have always depended on Yang (Justin H. Min), an android, to help look after their adoptive daughter, Mika (Malea Emma Tjandrawidjaja). Androids like Yang have become popular for parents with Chinese-born children, since they can be programmed to help the children learn Mandarin and stay in touch with their heritage. So when Yang suffers a malfunction and won’t power up, Jake is desperate to get him back to working order – although not quite as desperate as Mika, who is absolutely sick with worry about her artificial sibling. As Jake pursues different options for repair, he starts to worry that there might not be any help for Yang. All he can get is a copy of Yang’s core memories, a collection of short glimpses into Yang’s life which he deliberately saved. But those memories aren’t going to make the transition to life after Yang any easier.

A melancholy look at the ethics of artificial life, adoption, and the emotions of daily life, After Yang is a surprisingly sweet little movie. I’ll be honest, I had some concerns after the opening credits dance montage – which, apart from lasting entirely too long, felt tonally a little insane – but the film quickly righted itself and carried on. I say quickly, but this is a film willing to take its time exploring the characters’ emotions and motives. It doesn’t exactly rush to the credits, although the brisk 96 minute runtime keeps things from dragging too much.

Despite a nearly complete absence of serious content concerns, this isn’t going to be a film for younger viewers. It’s simply too cerebral, too focused on modern ideas about family and life. Even if you can find a tween who could sit through it, I’m not sure they’d appreciate the subtle ideas the movie expresses. For adults, though, this a rare example of a thoughtful, considered film which manages not to bombard the viewer with sex, violence, profanity, or drug use. For once, I’ll go out on a limb and say you probably could watch this one with your grandmother.

If nothing else, this film features Colin Farrell doing an absolutely uncanny impression of Werner Herzog. That’s worth the price of admission right there – but the film has so much more to offer than a distinctive German accent. Insightful, touching, and low-intensity, After Yang is artsy cinema with broader reach than just a curious aesthetic and vague sci-fi. And if that’s not enough to get you to give it a try, I’m not sure what will.

Directed by Kogonada. Starring Colin Farrell, Jodie Turner-Smith, Justin H Min. Running time: 96 minutes. Theatrical release March 4, 2022. Updated

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After Yang
Rating & Content Info

Why is After Yang rated PG? After Yang is rated PG by the MPAA for some thematic elements and language

Violence: None.
Sexual Content: None.
Profanity: There are five uses of scatological profanity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: None.

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Other films about the moral complexities of artificial life forms include Blade Runner, Blade Runner 2049, I, Robot, AI: Artificial Intelligence, Moon, Ex Machina, Free Guy, I’m Your Man, and Swan Song. A far, far stranger alternative is the French film Bigbug. This movie also bears some aesthetic similarities to Minority Report, which features Colin Farrell. Jake directly references the documentary All in This Tea