By age fourteen she was on her own, fleeing the communists, a waif living in the streets of Seoul, begging from American soldiers and stealing food. Then fate intervened: She was hit by a car driven by a prominent filmmaker. He mentored her into an acting career. By age nineteen, Park Soong Nan was the brightest star of Korean cinema. They called her “The Queen of Tears.”
Many years later, her three grown children are settled in Hawaii, and she comes to visit. Soong’s presence is catalytic, setting off smoldering jealousies, dormant longings, and the unending contest for primacy in her affection.