On screen, a message reads: “its the condition in which you plant your seeds that determine how they will grow.”
In August 2006, a 6-year-old boy stirs water on the stove while his mother talks on the phone. His father argues with her.
At the police station, an officer tells a young man that “we need your cooperation.” He opens the file folder. A second young man walks down the canned vegetable aisle of the store. Back at home, his father wants to know who his mother having a conversation with on the phone.
His father and the young man run into the store, wearing masks. They shoot the clerk. At the police station, the officer asks “who shot him.” The young man circles the photo of the 6-year-old’s father. Back at home, the 6-year-old boy eats his soup while his father puts on an orange jumpsuit and leaves the house.
In May 2017, his father sits in jail, looking through photographs. His girlfriend tells the 17-year-old boy that “you’ll end up like your father and your son is grow up like you did..alone!” The boy’s son stirs a bowl of water on the stove. The 17-year-old boy says “I’ll always be there for him.”
The 17-year-old boy gets into his friend’s car. His friend asks him if “you got it?” In jail, the boy’s father kisses photos of his son and grandson. He taps a drawn “come back daddy” sign. The boy’s son sleeps in his bed. The 17-year-old boy gets out of the car. The 17-year-old boy’s father hands his orange jumpsuit and says “it’s your turn son.” The 17-year-old boy kisses his son as he holds him.
The 6-year-old draws on his paper. His mother tells him they have to get going. The 6-year-old boy says he’s not finished yet. His mother tells him it’s fine the way it is. They have a long drive. During the drive, the 6-year-old asks about his grandfather. His mother tells him he doesn’t know much about him. She only met him once or twice. He asks if his grandpa is ever going to come home. His mother says that as long as his father is good, he may get to leave sooner.
She nudges her son to show the guards the photo and empties her bag. She asks her son to show the guards his pockets. She holds her son’s hand as they walk through the various checkpoints. In the visiting area, he runs toward his dad and gives him a hug. He says his mom visited the other day and told his dad is sick. They don’t know how long he has. He says they may not have enough time to say goodbye. She tells him another friend of theirs got shot. She says she wants to move but she’s having a hard time finding a better job. One of the teachers says their boy is gifted. She ruffles his hair and tells him he might be able the first one to break the cycle.
Back in his cell, the now 20 year-old boy reads a book for one of his classes. He writes in his notebook and prepares for test. He has about 3 years left on his sentence. He stares at a photos of his son and father on the wall.
Director: Will Ngo Year: 2019