Short Movie Review: Bao

Bao Trailer

Bao Summary

In Toronto, Canada, a Chinese Canadian woman cooks a meal of baozi for her and her husband. One of her buns comes alive, much to her shock. She raises the steamed bun as a child, feeding and caring for it, as it enjoys the time spent with her. Eventually, the bun wishes to play with other children, but his overprotective mother refuses to allow it, much to his ire. As the bun grows, he desires increasing amounts of independence, which creates tension between the two of them that gradually alienates them from each other. When the steamed bun introduces the mother to his new fiancée, with whom he will leave home, the mother protests. She tries to stop the steamed bun from leaving, and in a fit of anger, the mother eats the steamed bun, after which she cries over what she has done.

Later, as the mother lies in bed, her real son enters the room, revealing that the whole sequence was an allegorical dream. His father urges him to talk to his mother, but she rebuffs him. As he and his mother sit on the edge of her bed, he offers her the same treat he once refused on the bus, after which they share in an emotional moment. Later, after reconciling, the son and his fiancée join his mother in making buns, as his father looks on with approval.

Bao Review

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I remember seeing this short in front of Incredibles 2. My first thoughts were that it was cute but confusing, however as the short ends, the lesson clicks. The mom imagine the Bao as her child and misses her son since he are up and got married. I can relate a bit as my kiddo grows up. We as parents, especially moms, lose our own self because we put everything into our children’s childhood. There is another side, the mom wanted to share the traditional Chinese culture as well and when she thought her son was moving away from that, she was hurt. In the end, her daughter in law learned and grew close to the mom. Lets also add that Bao (also called Pork Buns) are gosh darn delicious.

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