Umma will be released in theaters on March 18, 2022.
March seems to be the month of motherhood for Asians in film and on TV. With Turning red And Pachinkoboth focusing on mother-daughter relationships, out this month, seems appropriate for Umma, the Korean word for mother, also to be released. And while her ideas of generational trauma are scary, Umma unfortunately isn’t, despite Sandra Oh making the best of her with a disappointing script.
Umma tells the story of Amanda (Sandra Oh), an electrophobic beekeeper who lives off the grid with her teenage daughter, Chrissy (Fivel Stewart). They are best friends – they do everything together, including beekeeping, chicken farming, and reading books. But everything changes when Amanda’s Korean uncle visits the remains of her umma, which Amanda had abandoned years ago. He tells her that he must respect her mother through a traditional Korean ceremony, otherwise she will never rest. Shaken by the encounter, Amanda begins to have visions of her mother of hers and flashbacks of the abuse she suffered of her, which caused her this fear of electricity. The traumatized Amanda refuses to honor her dead mother, which causes Umma’s spirit to slowly consume Amanda and transform her into the woman she feared most of her.