"Maybe this is the last time we can sit together."
Missing Home is the latest International Feature submission from Indonesia. Director Bene Dion Rajagukguk has created a beautiful film in North Sumatra focused on a family of six: husband and wife Park and Mak and their four children.
Park and Mak live in the gorgeous town of Lake Toba filled with green hills and palm trees. They live with their daughter Sarma but they haven’t seen their three sons in years: Gabe, Domu and Sahat.
Park has been disagreeing with some of their life choices so the three sons haven’t visited their parents in quite some time. Gabe is a comedian, when his father wishes he was practicing his law degree. Domu is marrying a woman who is non Batak. And Sahat is taking care of another elderly man, rather than staying with his parents to take care of them.
With Park’s mother about to have a marriage affirmation ceremony, the two parents decide to trick their kids into pretending that they’re getting divorced. This will force them to come back home.
Rajagukguk has created a film that starts out as a comedy but turns slowly into a more serious and dramatic tone. Families are complicated. Parents always want what’s best for their children, but sometimes what they want isn’t necessarily what is right. Children need to do what makes them happy, whether it’s being a comedian, or marrying a woman outside of their ethnic group, or just simply moving away from their town to start a new life. If children can’t follow their dreams, then have their parents failed them?
It's endless work to be a parent, raising your kids and putting them first, always. But being able to admit your weaknesses and flaws are one of the most important things you can ever do for your children. And allowing them to create their own life and to follow their own passions, even if they fail. It’ll make them miss home.