The Joy Luck Club Script - Dialogue Transcript

Voila! Finally, the The Joy Luck Club script is here for all you quotes spouting fans of the movie based on the Amy Tan book.  This script is a transcript that was painstakingly transcribed using the screenplay and/or viewings of The Joy Luck Club. I know, I know, I still need to get the cast names in there and I'll be eternally tweaking it, so if you have any corrections, feel free to drop me a line. You won't hurt my feelings. Honest.

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The Joy Luck Club Script



The old woman remembered

a swan she had bought...



many years ago in Shanghai

for a foolish sum.



"This bird," boasted

the market vendor...



"was once a duck that

stretched its neck...



in hopes

of becoming a goose.



And now look.

It is too beautiful to eat."



Then the woman and the swan

sailed across an ocean...



many thousands of li wide...



stretching their necks

toward America.



On her journey

she cooed to the swan...



"In America I will have

a daughter just like me.



But over there, nobody will say

her worth is measured...



by the loudness

of her husband's belch.



Over there, nobody will

look down on her...



because I will make her speak

only perfect American English.



And over there, she will always be

too full to swallow any sorrow.



She will know my meaning

because I will give her this swan...



a creature that became more

than what was hoped for."



But when she arrived

in the new country...



the immigration officials

pulled the swan away from her...



leaving the woman

fluttering her arms...



and with only one swan

feather for a memory.



For a long time now,

the woman had wanted...



to give her daughter

the single swan feather...



and tell her, "This feather

may look worthless...



but it comes from afar

and carries with it...



all my good intentions."



- Hi!

- Oh, Jennifer! Oh, hi!



- Hi, June.

- Hi.



Yeah, I want-- That's it.

How are you, June?



...the official line

of scrimmage. No gain.



- Come on, do or die.

Right here. Come on, do or die!

- Come on!



- All right, all right,

they're lining up for a pass!

- A pass, man!



- It's a pass! Here we go, baby!

- Fourth and seven.



- Here we go. Come on!

- Oakland.



All right, all right,

here we go! Here we go!



- Yes. Yes. Yes!

- Yeah!



Yes! I told you, man!

I told you!



Yeah, you owe me five bucks!



Every morning,

"Wave, Wave, Waverly-a!"



I do not sound like--

She's saying I sound like my--



I do not sound like my mother.

How could I be like my mother?



- And you started--

- She said that too.



- She is right, you know.

This kind of vegetable...

- What?



- Don't put Chinese cabbage in the salad.

- has to be, has to be boiled.



- I always use Chinese cabbage--

- It's bitter.



- Mmm, Dad, that smells good.

- Thanks.



- No! No!

- It will fall apart!

- Someone help me now.



- I can't believe they're still arguing.

- Come on, picture time!



- Picture time! Picture time!

All right, picture time now.

- Waverly, Waverly loves it!



- Aunt Rose! Rose!

- Rose! Rose! Rose!



- Come on, come on, come on.

- Picture, picture.

- We're ready.



- Come on.

- Oh! June.

-June. Come here.



- Come on, June!

- Get over here!

- Get over here!



-Get over here!

-Come on!

-Oh, no, that's all right, Lena.



- Come on!

- It's all right.

- No, really.



- Go ahead. Go ahead. Go ahead.

- Go on!

- Come on, right now.



-June, come closer, darling. Come closer.

- All right, enough.



- Enough. Time to take the picture now.

- Come on, girls.



All right, let me check your hair.

Okay, it looks nice.



- Now smile naturally, Ma.

- I always do, Waverly.



- You look beautiful.

- No, you don't. Do a nice, friendly one.



- You look younger all the time.

How is that?

- I give you my good skin.



- Really? You promise?

- You will look like me when you are older.



- Yes.

- Come close.

- I'm close, Mom.



- But don't crush my hair.

- Say cheese.

- I won't.



- Cheese!

- Cheese!

- Cheese!



Ying Ying, take this.



-My mother died four months ago.

-...$ .  .



I realized for the first time,

they wanted me to take my mother's place.



So I sat down on the East,

where things begin...



with my mother's best friends.



My mother started the Joy Luck Club,

having met all these women in church.



Auntie An Mei...



Auntie Lindo...



Auntie Ying Ying.



For    years,

these women feasted...



forgot past wrongs,

laughed and played...



lost and won

and told the best stories.



Each week

they hoped to be lucky...



and that hope

was their only joy.



Their connection with each other

had more to do with hope...



than joy or luck.



- You win like your mother?

- Uh, I only played once...



- with some Jewish friends in college.

- Hmph! Jewish mah-jong.



Not the same thing.

Entirely different.



Now, Chinese mah-jong

very tricky.



You have to watch

what everybody throw out...



and you keep all this

in your head.



And if nobody play well...



then the game is just like

Jewish mah-jong: no strategy.



You American girls

play Chinese, Jewish.



What's the difference?






They were worried.

In me, they see their own daughters.



Just as ignorant of all

the hopes and dreams...



our mothers brought

to this country.



Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey.

No talking in Chinese.



- Huh?

- How do I know you're not cheating?



- We would not cheat.

- You don't know, but not we.

- Ah.



You don't know, but we are your auntie,

and we are very honest people.



- We will not cheat you.

- Maybe, maybe, maybe, maybe, maybe.



Hey, June, why you not

take the piano home?



You only one who play.



When I was nine years old...



my mother's version

of believing in me...



was believing that

I could be anything...



anything she wanted;



the best piano prodigy

this side of China.



I never practiced.



Lucky for me, old Mr. Chong

couldn't tell the difference.



He'd gone stone-deaf

over the years.



Me and Beethoven,

we both hear it in our head!




Now, how many sharps...



how many flats?



- What key are we in?

- Z major.



- What? Good.

- Z major!



Now, for the recital...



more feeling...



more gusto!



I'm a girl and by me

that's only great



I am proud that

my silhouette is curvy



When I was young,

Auntie Lindo...



was my mother's

best friend and archenemy.



Their weapons of choice

were comparing their children.



Mom was sick of hearing

Auntie Lindo brag...



about her daughter Waverly, who

was Chinatown's chess champion.



That night Mom figured

I'd redeem her...



- with my international piano debut.

- I ask my daughter...



"Help me carry grocery."



She think this too much ask.



All day long she play chess.



I dust off all her trophy.

Appreciate me? No.



You lucky you don't have

the same problem.



My problem

worser than yours.



If I tell June

time to wash dish...



she hear nothing but music.



It's like you can't stop

this natural talent.



Being a girl



Until that night,

I didn't believe I was a prodigy.






In fact, I used to go out of my way

to prove my mother wrong...



that I wasn't cut out

to be the best anything...



I could only be me.



It was incredible. It was like my hands

were possessed by Mozart.



And everybody could see this,

could hear this.



I was a genius.

I had been discovered.



And then I heard it.



Maybe they didn't notice.



Bravo! Bravo!

Encore! Well done!



Here we come

Walkin' down the street



- After the talent show fiasco...

- Get the funniest looks from



- I figured I never had

to play the piano again.

- Everyone we meet



-  :  . Turn off TV.

- Hey, hey, we're the Monkees



- Practice piano time.

- People say we monkey around



- I couldn't believe what she

was saying. Like I was...

- But we're too busy singin'



- supposed to go through the

same torture again. Forget it.

- To put anybody down



- What I say?  :  .

- We're just tryin' to be friendly



-Come and watch us sing and play

-I'm not going to play any more.



- Why should I?

- We're the young generation



- What did you say?

- And we've got something to say



I'm not your slave.

This isn't China.



You can't make me.



- Get up!

- No! No, I won't.






No! No, I won't.



You want me to be someone I'm not!

I'll never be the kind of daughter

that you want me to be!



There be two kinds of daughter:

obedient or follow own mind.



Only one kind of daughter

could live in this house:



- obedient kind.

- Then I wish I wasn't your daughter!



I wish you weren't my mom!



Too late to change this.



That's when I remembered

what we could never talk about.



Then I wish I were dead...



like them, the babies

that you killed in China!



My mother had once told me

this strange story...



what happened

to her in China.



She said she was going to Chungking

to meet the man who was her husband.



That was the first time I ever heard

she was married before my father.



She barely had time to grab

her babies, twin girls.



That was the first time

I heard she had other babies.



I always try to picture

in my mind what really happened...



but she would never explain.



She would only say by the time

she reached Chungking...



she had lost everything.



And I said,

"Wait, what do you mean 'everything'?



What happened

to those babies?"



There were so many things about

my mother I never understood.



This is the only one

I never forgave.



The babies.



You know?

Two babies?



The babies? We all thought

that the babies had died.



- But last month at a church picnic--

- You know...



two babies your mother leave

on the roadside, in wartime?



It's miracle,

but we find them.



Yes! Can you imagine?

They still alive!



What are you saying?

They're alive?



I think your mother

always want to find them...



her long-cherished wish.



So after she died,

we tried for her;



- writing, writing, writing.

- "My--"



- This is from them, those babies?

- Ah, no baby anymore.



They're alive!



Oh, what does it say?

What does it mean?



It say--

See here?



They are very glad--

No, no, no, no, no.



Overjoyed beyond belief...



at last find you,

their little sister.



And they say--

See here?



How sad, how very sad...



too late to meet their mother...



now she no longer in this world.



Yes, yes.



It says--

See here?



You must come to China

and meet them...



and tell them

all about their mother.



What could I tell them?



I didn't know anything

about her. She was--



- She was my mother.

- What do you mean?

Tell them how smart she was...



- Your mother is your voice.

- how kind she was.



- Everyone love her.

- How sincere, how hard-working she was.



- And the excellent dishes she cooked.

- Even better than mine.



And how beautiful she sang.

Don't you remember?



How can a daughter

not know her own mother?



You're right.

I will tell them.



I-I should.

I want to.



June? June.



What you thinking?



Oh, those babies,

of course. The twins.



I can't believe I'm actually

going to meet them.



How sad they must have been

when you told them Mom died.



That must have been the hardest

letter for you to write.



Oh, peanut bowl empty.



Oh! Oh, I'll get us some.



All this time never

telling her the truth.



- Must tell her today.

- How can you not tell her?



How can I tell her what

the letter really say?



Then she never go to China,

never go to see her sister.



Am I right?

Yes, of course.



Lindo, I still think it's wrong.



It's so sad for those babies.



How could Suyuan

give them up?



To lose a mother so young...



to wonder why.



Even to this day I wonder...



how my own mother

could give me up.



That day...



when I was only

four years old...



I came upon a meeting...



that would change

my life forever.



Come here quick.



Come here.



Huang Tai Tai,

this is my daughter.



Come here, Lindo.



Come over here.



Come to Mama.



Don't keep Huang Tai Tai waiting.



She looks like a brat.



She's usually very obedient.



She's just shy today.



I didn't know it, but that day

my mother made a promise:



- that when I became     I would

go live in this woman's house...

- She looks so skinny.



Don't go by her looks.



Look at that lucky face.



She'll give you many grandsons.



and fulfill the old matchmaker's

guarantee to have many sons...



- with a husband

I had never met before.

- Come here! Come here!



Have Huang Tai Tai

take a closer look at you.



Stop stuffing yourself!.



No girl should eat so fast.



For the next ten years...



my mother treated me as if

I already belonged to Huang Tai Tai.



Look at those dirty spots!



Who would want such a dirty




Always be careful.



Otherwise when you go

to Huang Tai Tai's...



she will disapprove of you.



My mother did not say these things

because she didn't love me.



She said these things...



so she would not wish

for something...



that was no longer hers.



And then one day...



my mother said our whole family

was moving to the south.



Everyone except me.






when you see Huang Tai Tai...



act happy.



Really, you are very lucky.



The marriage ceremony has begun.



Bride and groom,

pay respect to each other.



Pay respect to the ancestors.



Be blessed with prosperity!



Be blessed with many sons!



That night I would meet

my husband for the first time;



the one who would

control my destiny...



decide whether

I was happy or not.



This one moment would decide

for my whole life...



whether fear would rule...



or I would.



I decided

underneath I knew who I was.



I promised myself

never to forget.



I have prayed to the gods

many days for you...



so that you were not too ugly...



or too old.



I must have prayed too hard.



Ha! Scared you to death!



I am the husband.



I make all the decisions.



You sleep on the floor.



Do it! Do it now!



The next few years,

I tried to accept my life...



to act like an obedient wife.



Every night I made

Huang Tai Tai special soup...



good for mother-in-laws.



Still, she was not pleased.



Where are my grandsons?



My son says...



you often refuse...



to sleep with him.



What kind of a wife are you?



You sleep on your side.



After that,

I slept with my husband.



Every night

I slept with him...



just like brother and sister.



Where are my grandsons?






My son says he's planted enough

seeds in you to fill a basket.



Plenty for

ten thousand grandsons!



It's all your fault!



Always running around...



letting my son's seeds

spill out.



From now on...



you lie in bed all day.



Lie down!



Lie down!



Until my grandson comes!



Do you hear me?



Disgusting little thing!



Close all the windows!



Feel this.

I'm pregnant.



That's impossible.



It's yours!



What'd I tell you?



She's like this all the time.



What the hell's happening?



What's wrong?



Tell me quick!



It's so scary.



It's too terrible to say.



I had a bad dream.



Our ancestors came to me!



So angry!



They told me if Tyan-yu stays...



in this marriage...



he will die.



What's this bullshit?



What a stupid girl

to have bad dreams!



The ancestors said...



if the matter is

not settled immediately...



they will begin...



the cycle of destruction!



There are three signs, he said.



First, he has drawn a spot

on Tyan-yu's back.



And this spot will eat away

Tyan-yu's flesh.



Just as it ate away

our ancestor's face.



The same mole I had seen

during all those nights...



of sleeping just like

brother and sister.



Next, our ancestor

touched my mouth.



Our ancestor said...



if I don't leave this marriage...



all my teeth will fall out.



But how could I leave

this family I love so much?



I live and die

for this family.



The open spot in my mouth...



where a rotted tooth

fell out four years ago.



Our ancestor also said

this girl here...



is Tyan-yu's

true spiritual wife...



already growing his son!



It's true!



To prove it our ancestor

planted the seed in her womb.



Already ripe in one day.



Ah Ping!

Come over here!



Come over here!



If you don't believe me,

ask the matchmaker.



I told them the matchmaker

had made the wrong match...



on purpose,

just for money.



Matchmaker, how could you?



How could you?






mistakes happen in Heaven.



The hell with this!



Get out!



All of you!



Huang Tai Tai

got her grandson.



The servant girl

got her marriage.



I got a rail ticket to Shanghai.



So, you see, I still kept

my promise to my mother.



But years later, things

were somewhat different...



with my daughter

Waverly's wedding.



- Ma, it's me.

- Oh, Waverly-a.



- You already at the beauty parlor?

- No.



- No?

- No, I'm-- I have a headache.




You have a headache?



So you cannot keep

your promise to your mother?



- Ma!

- No, don't come.

Why should I want you to come...



when all you're telling me

you don't want to come?



- Ma, that's not what I said!

- What's wrong with the way I look now?



I just go to wedding

with old hair.




She always does this!



My mom always does this.



Whatever I say,

whatever I do...



whatever I think...



she always has

the perfect countermove.



As if she had been

the chess champion.



Even at that age,

I knew I had an amazing gift:



this power,

this belief in myself...



to be better than anyone else.



If someone was bigger than me,

older than me, it didn't matter.



And if they were mean,

I could make'em sorry.







She was--



It was the only part

of my life, to this day...



where I trusted myself




- Very good.

- Thank you.



- Good work.

- Thank you.

- You did good.



- I was safe there.

- Very nice job.

- We've been very lucky.



- I still cry remembering that.

- Thank you.



- You not see Life magazine?

- No.



I told my daughter, "Use your

horses to run over the enemy."



- One fine day

- She won very quickly this way.



- Oh, good.

- You'll look at me

- Bye-bye.



- Bye-bye.

- Say bye-bye.

- And you will know



- Our love was meant to be

- Bye.

- Bye.



- One fine day

- Hi.



- You're gonna want me for your girl

- Ah, Mrs. Chew!



Oh, you know my daughter,

Waverly Jong, chess champion?



- The arms I long for will open wide

- Smart girl! Bye.



- Thank you. Bye-bye.

- And you'll be proud to have me



I wish you wouldn't do that,

telling everyone I'm your daughter.



- What you mean? You so ashamed

to be with your mother?

- One fine day



- You're gonna want me for your girl

- It's not that.



It's just that it's so...



- embarrassing, that's all.

- What? Embarrassed you be my daughter?



- I'll keep waiting and some day, darling

- That's not what I said.



- Then what you say? Look at me!

- You'll come to me



- When you want to settle down

- Look at me!



- Oh, one fine day

- Why do you have to use me to show off?



- We'll meet once more

- If you want to show off...



- And then you'll want the love

- then why don't you learn to play chess?



You threw away before



One fine day



You're gonna want me

for your girl



Waverly! Waverly!

You come back!



About time.

Boy, are you in trouble.



Sit down. Eat.



This girl not have

concerning for us.



We not concerning

this girl.



I'm never gonna

play chess again!



You can't make me!



You can torture me

all you want...



I still won't.



Did you hear what I said?



For months I kept expecting Ma

to beg me to play chess again...



but she never mentioned it,

as if I had never played at all.



Guess what? I've decided

to play chess again.



You think it is so easy.



One day quit,

next day play.



Everything for you

is this way.



So smart, so easy, so fast.



Not so easy anymore.



What she said,

it was like a curse.



This power I had,

this belief in myself...



I could actually

feel it draining away.



I could feel myself

becoming so ordinary.



All the secrets I once saw...



I couldn't

see them anymore.



All I could see was--



were my mistakes,

my weaknesses.



The best part of me just...



- Check.

- disappeared.



But I can't put it all

on my mother.



I did it to myself.



I never played chess again.



She needs a cut

and a perm, Trevor.



And this color of hers, it's from that

cheap black dye she's been using at home.



God forbid she'd pay to have

anything professionally done.



Why I should pay?

What for?



Why I should pay    dollar?

To act like you? So important.



Go to fancy barber

with torn-up jeans.



Darlene, we need

a shampoo here.



I mean, I even married

a Chinese guy to please her.



He was gorgeous.

He gave her a granddaughter.



But was she satisfied?



When we got divorced, she got

all upset like it was my fault.



I just want to show you

something. It's upstairs.



- Watch out for Shoshana's toys.

- And when I finally started dating again...



when I tried to hint

to her about Rich...



that we were

living together--



How could she not notice?



This was not going to go away,

even with her silent treatment.



This is what

I wanted to show you.



You know Rich,

the guy I told you about?



I don't know why he got it for me.

It's really never cold enough to wear.



You wanna try it?



This not so good.



Only leftover strips.



See? Fur too short.



No long hairs.



How can you

criticize a gift?



He gave this to me

with all his heart.



That's why I told you.

Not so good.



I wasn't going to let her

get away with it this time...



making me feel bad about Rich,

the love of my life...



who treated me

like I was perfect.



Well, aren't you going

to say anything else?



What I should say?



About the apartment,

about this!



And this!



Or this!



All of this!



We're here!

Where is everybody?



The next week I brought Rich to Mom's

birthday dinner, sort of a surprise present.



I figured she was going to have

to accept Rich, like it or not.



- Oh, Rich, this is my father.

- How ya doin'?



- Happy birthday, Mom.

- How are you?

- I'm good, thank you.



And, Ma, this is Rich.



Great to meet you.

Boy, something smells wonderful.



I guess we came to the right

place, huh? Here you are.



You know, Waverly has been telling me

that you are the best cook.



I think maybe we got her.



So many spots on his face.



Of course, the night

was still young.



Thank god I already prepped

him on the Emily Post of Chinese manners.



Hi, Uncle.

How are you?



Actually, there were a few things

I forgot to mention.



Uh, let me make a toast.



- He shouldn't have had that second glass...

- Here's to...



- when everyone else had

had only half an inch...

- everyone in the family.



just for taste.



Shrimp. My favorite.



He should have taken only

a small spoonful of the best dish...



until everyone had

had a helping.



He has good appetite.



He shouldn't have bragged

he was a fast learner.



But the worst was when Rich

criticized my mother's cooking...



and he didn't even know

what he had done.



As is the Chinese

cook's custom...



my mother always

insults her own cooking...



but only with the dishes

she serves with special pride.



This dish not salty enough.



No flavor.

It's too bad to eat.



But please--






That was our cue

to eat some...



and proclaim it

the best she'd ever made.



You know, Lindo...



all this needs is

a little soy sauce.



Oh! Uh, oh.



So, how'd your mom react when

you told her about the wedding?



It never came up.



How come?



She'd rather get

rectal cancer.






Ma, a soft wave for body.

What do you think?



Look, she doesn't

want it too short.



Otherwise it'll be

too tight for the wedding.



And we don't want it

looking too weird or kinky.



Isn't that right, Ma?

Not too kinky?



Why does my daughter think

she's translating English for me?



Maybe I don't go.



- What do you mean?

- Maybe I don't go to your wedding.



- Oh, don't be ridiculous.

- Maybe already ridiculous.



Hair too ridiculous for

future husband's family.



I could see her face

looking at me...



but not seeing me.



She was ashamed...



so ashamed

to be my daughter.






- What's wrong?

- Nothing.




I-- I only thinking...



thinking about my mother...



how much I wanted

to be like her.



Your mother?



She told me...



all the hopes

she had for me...



words I would never forget.



You're so lucky.



You don't have ears like mine.



You'll have a better life!



But listen carefully

to what is calling.



Can you feel in your heart...



what I am saying?



Will you always keep it there?



You know...



after today...



I will never...



give you any more advice.



In my memory, my--



my mother very

important to me...



just like her words.



Easy to appreciate memory.






Why don't you like Rich?



It's Rich you afraid

I not like?



If I don't like your Rich...



I act polite, say nothing;



let him have big cancer...



let my daughter be a widow.



I like Rich.

Of course I do...



to allow him to marry

such a daughter.



You don't know--



You don't know the power

you have over me.



One word from you,

one look...



and I'm...



four years old again,

crying myself to sleep.



Because nothing I do...



can ever, ever please you.






Now you make me happy.



Look, look, look, look, Ma, Ma,

Auntie Ying, Auntie Ying.



- I did it.

- Rich!



Where'd it go?

Did it go inside?



-Oh, come on.

-God, I can't take you anywhere.



- So where'd it end up?

- Oh, Lena, do you want to eat?



- Thank you.

- Oh, here's a fork.



- Okay.

- Well, I'm trying.



- Ta-la!

- Oh!



Wow! That's beautiful, huh?



Oh, oh.



What's the matter,

guest of honor?



- Yeah!

- Should eat more!



Should eat more!

Too skinny!



Well, I thought you said

I was getting fat.



- Auntie An Mei said that.

Why you always confusing us?

- Oh, look.



June so happy,

going to China...



see her sisters at last.



Only steamed.

Can't get you fat.



How terrible for Suyuan...



to lose your babies...



never know if they

are alive or dead.



Only one thing's worse.



I was only    .



Stop looking!



Ying Ying.



Ying Ying.



Open the watermelon!



Dog fart!



Ah, Lin Xiao--



Lin Xiao.



After that, everything

like this dream.



Our wedding...



our son.



Honored guests!



Thank you for coming.



I have persuaded

the famous diva, Miss Bai Yen...



- to sing in honor of my son.

- There he was...



with his opera singer.



This was not

his first conquest...



only the first I permitted

myself to recognize.



By then I knew what kind

of man I had married:



happiest when he was cruel.



Let me have him.



He became forgetful.



Don't touch it!



So forgetful he had not

returned by the next morning.



Or the next evening.



Who's this?



This person is a whore.



Just like you.



My son!



My son!



Listen to that voice!






like his father!



Look at you!




You make me sick!



Clean up this mess!



You hear me?



My whole life turned

in this moment.



If I had left him

or killed him...



I would not have lost

the one thing that mattered.



My mind kept repeating

a single thought.



He had taken from me

my innocence...



my youth, my heart,




So I took from him

the only thing I could.



My baby was so light

in my arms...



because his little spirit

had flown away.



And with his,

my spirit had also gone.



Years later,

I moved to America.



But what I had done in China

was always with me.



In time, I remarried...



and I had a daughter.



But Lena had no spirit...



because I had none

to give her.









Are you hungry yet?






Mommy, please answer me.



Mommy? Oh, Mom!



As I was growing up...



there were times when Mom

went through these bad spells.



She often seemed

scared and sad.



But she would never

talk about it...



except to say that she had been

married to a bad man in China.



Over the years

Mom got better...



although it seemed like all her fears

turned into worries about me.



So now that I'm married...



and she's visiting

our new house...



I hope she can finally

be happy for me.



Don't worry.

Everything's fine.



He's very nice to me.






Nice. Very nice.



- Oh, Mom? Mom--

- What's this?



Why don't you, uh, rest

in the living room?



I'll make you

some tea, okay?



I've got some

chrysanthemum tea.



- What's this writing?

- Mom! It's nothing.



You know. It's just

the things we share.



At least that's what

Harold calls it.




Everything   -  .



So our love is always equal.



- The irony is, I was the one

who started it that way.

- Let's see--



- Forty-one dollars.

- Oh, total?



Each. What?

You don't have enough?



No, it's, uh...



it's just, uh, I was

never very good at math.



So what if I had a salad

and he had three courses?



We were equals.



Except that I work in his firm

and he pays himself...



seven times more

than he pays me.



Seven and a half.



And then last year, when we

finally decided to get married...



we agreed: love, yes;

false dependencies, no.



With most everything,

we keep track of what we spend...



then split it   -  .



Of course we agreed early on

not to include personal stuff...



like my tampons and

feminine hygiene spray...



and his shaving lotion

and foot powder.



Honey, isn't there

a generic brand of cat food?



I mean, do they know the difference?

For crying out loud, $  .  .



But we still have these

philosophical arguments...



about the gray areas.



Like magazines I subscribe to,

which he reads...



but only because they're there.



And the cat.



Even the goddamn cat's fleas.



You gave her to me

as a birthday gift.



And now you want me to pay

to get rid of her fleas?



Ice cream you don't share.



You don't eat ice cream.



Ever since that time you got sick on

strawberry and chocolate flavor together.



I remember.



Now you must pay for half

of his ice cream?



Why do you do this?









Lena, when you buy charcoal,

you have to buy lighter fluid.



Don't you know that yet? Do I

have to remind you every time?



Lena cannot eat ice cream.






What are we talking about?



It's true. I've hated

ice cream all my life.



I don't touch the stuff.



Well, I assumed you were always

trying to diet or something.



Oh, yes, she's lost so much weight

you can't see her anymore.






One million dollars,

and the walls are still crooked.



- It's bad luck.

- Harold wanted to keep it

that way for the effect.



For effect? A person has to lie here

thinking she's in a coffin?



- Oh!

- Careful. It's not too sturdy.



Harold made it back in college.



Why do you keep it?



You put one more thing on top

and everything falls down.



Do you need anything else?



- No.

- Okay.



No. Nothing.






- What is a drag race?

- What an idiot!



Regatta, not drag race!



I don't believe this guy!



It's cold.



Excuse me?



I said, would you close

the window, please? It's cold.



That's right for     .

Takes you to an even     .



Oh, there's the bell

for "Final Jeopardy."



You have    seconds to come up

with the right question.



Honey, move.

What's goin' on?



I don't think you should get credit

for your ice cream anymore.



Fine. You got it.

End of discussion.



Why do you have to be

so goddamn fair?



Now at       but you're

still not in the lead. Nancy--



Just what is this

about exactly?



I don't know.

Maybe everything.



The way we account for

everything. What we share, what

we don't share. I'm sick of it.



Adding things up, subtracting. Making it

come out even when it's not. I'm sick of it.



You're the one

who wanted the cat!



- What are you talking about?

- All right.



If you think I'm being unfair,

we'll both pay for the fleas.



This is not about fleas.

That is not the point.



Then, please, tell me.



What is the point?



I-- I just think that we

need to change things.



We need to think about

what this marriage is based on...



- not this balance sheet.

- Well, I know what

our marriage is based upon.



And if you don't,

then you better think about it...



before you start

to change things.



All around this house,

I see the signs.



My daughter looks,

but she does not see.



This is a house that

will break into pieces.






It's not too late.



All my pains, my regrets...



I will gather them together.



My daughter will hear me calling,

even though I've said no words.



She will climb the stairs

to find me.



- Mom?

- She will be scared...



because at first

her eyes will see nothing.



- She will feel in her heart...

- Mom?



- this place where she hides her fears.

- Mom?



She will know...



I am waiting

like a tiger in the trees...



now ready to leap out

and cut her spirit loose.






Do you know what you want?



I mean, from him.









Then tell him now.



And leave this lopsided house.



Do not come back

until he give you those things.



With both hands open.



I can't..



Losing him does not matter.



It is you who will be found... 



and cherished.



So my mom sees this mirror

at the foot of our bed.



And she says, "Ai-ya,

a mirror there is bad luck.



All the romance will hit the mirror,

poom, go back the opposite direction."



- So what'd you do?

- We moved it.



Yeah, put that baby

right on the ceiling.



- Waverly loves it.

- So I've heard.



Yeah, well, this guy

will do anything for her.



- But they're allies. But now

it's getting out of hand...

- Ah.



because after the party,

we're going to Lake Tahoe...



-and he actually asked her to come with us.




- Come on, she'd have a great time!

- What are you, nuts?



Well, choosing between the two of us,

I'd rather I had the great time, okay?



- You'll have a good time.

- Easy, cowboy.

- Oh.



Ah, ah, ah, save some

room for dessert.



My mom's cake is coming out, and I'm

counting on you guys for two slices apiece.



- She'll eat five.

- Ten.



Uh, do I have to use chopsticks?

Because it could take a while.



- Where's Jennifer?

- Oh, her Auntie June

is putting her down for a nap.



- Oh, I'll go check on her.

- Oh, yeah.



And now the woman was old.



And she had a daughter who

grew up speaking only...



English and swallowing

more Coca-Cola than sorrow.



- What's "sorrow"?

- Sadness.



For a long time now, the woman

wanted to give her daughter...



the single swan feather

and tell her--



Is the swan real?

Is there really a swan?



I don't know, baby.

It's my mama's story..



And we can't ask her

'cause she's dead.



And the woman would

tell her daughter...



"This feather

may look worthless...



but it comes from afar and carries with it

all my good intentions."



- What's "intentions"?

- Oh, a good intention means...



- everything your mommy wants for you.

- Oh.



Like blowing out candles

on your birthday cake.



- Like it?

- It's great.



It's gonna be great for June..



I bet the twins

are in China right now...



dreaming about

their little American sister.



Yes, but their mother...h



that's who they waited for

all these years.



- They will be so sad.

- They already know.



Auntie Lindo wrote them.



As a little girl,

I wondered every day.



Worst of all,

I had to wonder in secret.



I had no memory

of my mother...



because she was

kicked out of the house...



when I was four years old.



An Mei.



You are not my daughter.



If you have any self-respect...



you should kill yourself.



Your husband just died...



and you've become

another man's concubine.



- An Mei!

- The scar from the soup...



was all I had left

of my mother.



My grandmother, my uncle

and my aunties...



they taught me to hate her.



They accused her of breaking

her vow as a widow...



and running away

to marry a rich man...



who already had a wife,

two concubines and other children.



Then one day, as my grandmother

was lying in her deathbed...



If you have any dignity,

leave right away.



Let your mother go to heaven

in peace.



You are no longer

her daughter.



I saw my own face

looking back at me.



It was an old tradition.



Only the most

dutiful of daughters...



- would put her own flesh in a soup...

- Ma.



to save her mother's life.



My mother did this

with her whole heart...



even though my grandmother

had disowned her.



- This is how a daughter

honors her mother.

- Ma.



The pain of the flesh

is nothing.



The pain you must forget.



This is the most

important sacrifice...



a daughter can make

for her mother.



Mama, don't leave.



Mama, don't leave.



An-Mei, Mama's leaving.



Respect your uncle

and your aunties.



Remember, be obedient!



Don't forget your Mama.



If you take this child away...



she will become like you.



Never able to face anyone.



Never able to lift her head.



I lost her once before.



This time I took my chance

before it was too late.



- Ma! Ma!

- You are going to ruin her whole life!



Mom? Mom?



Let's go.




give the soup to Mommy.



I'm afraid you'll spill it.

There you go.



Good girl.



Ted coming to dinner?



Why do you ask that?



Huh, you bought flour, egg...



bittersweet Hershey bar,

Skippy Chunky.



Good for only chocolate

peanut butter pie. Who else eat?



Well, i-it's not

a dinner exactly.



Just sort of a meeting

at the house tonight.



- Meeting?

- Yeah, well, we both thought it was time...



to settle all the property stuff.



- Both?

- Yeah, both. Absolutely.



What you going to ask for?



What are you talking about?



Talking about what you're worth.



That first afternoon

he introduced himself on campus...



he asked to borrow my notes.



I pretended

I didn't know who he was.



Um, this is so good.

It is.



People look at the newspaper,

and they see the articles--



I don't know why

I'm saying this.



I knew who you were

when you came up to me.



I-I've watched you for weeks,

like all the girls watch you...



and I was excited and flattered

when you came on to me.



So I baked you this pie

and, and we had dinner.



Only I don't know who you are.



I know who your family is

and what they do...



and suddenly I'm starting to wonder

whether I belong in this conversation.



I don't like feeling that way.






- Oh.

- I love you said that.



I didn't say it to impress you.



That's why it did.



His dad owned

a publishing empire.



His mom's family had wineries.



I'd never been around

people like this.



- Dad. Mom.

- Hi.



This is Rose Hsu,

my girlfriend.



The one word sent me

into total shock...



- from which, I'm afraid,

I've never quite recovered.

- How do you do?



- Hello. Hi.

- Hello.



Is this a private reverie

or can an old lady join you?






You and Ted haven't known

each other long, have you?



- Actually, no.

- I've never heard him speak

of you until this morning.



But it's always a thrill for a mother

to hear that sort of excitement...



in her son's voice.



So I hope you

won't misunderstand...



what I have to say.



I want you to know, Rose, that

we're a very liberal family...



- I couldn't believe what she was telling me.

- and we know several very...



- charming Oriental people.

- It was straight out

of some awful racist movie...



- It's just that Ted

is going to be working...

- like The World of Suzie Wong.



with his father in the company,

and, uh, he's going to be...



judged by people

of a different standard:



publishers, authors,

critics and their wives.



And they won't be

as understanding as we are.



Mrs. Jordan, you sound as if

Ted and I are getting married.



That's hardly the case.



Oh, I know, dear, it's just that, well,

the way the world is.



How unpopular Vietnam was.



I'm not Vietnamese.

I'm American.



Of course you are.

It's just--



I understand you.

That's all I'm trying to say.



- Do you understand?

- Mom?



- Hello, darling.

We're having a wonderful visit.

- "Hello, darling"?



You know, you know,

I always knew you were a jerk.



But, shit, this is the first time

in my life I am ashamed of you.



How dare you

use that language.



I think you better

apologize right now.



I'm sorry, Mom, you made

a fuckin' asshole out of yourself...



in front of the woman I love.



We're outta here.



I wasn't sorry

what his mother did.



How else would I have known,

if he hadn't rescued me...



how wonderful he was?



That he loved me.



In six months,

we were married.



After the wedding,

the fears began to sink in...



take hold.-



Everything I had married into.



The pressure, the weight of it.



I promised myself

that I could handle it.



That nothing, nothing

could ever change me.



Or us.



Wayne, could you chop this up

into smaller slices?



Last time they were

way too big. Thanks.



Ah, also, could you dress

the deviled eggs...



- with tomatoes and watercress--

- At first, it was just

a bunch of little things...



loving things a wife would do behind

the scenes without him even knowing.



- You know, like paying

the household bills...

-Joe, last time these...



- deviled eggs were too salty.

- buying him special gifts

that showed my love.



That's still too salty.



The beautiful part was,

he never had to ask for any of this.



In fact, he never even knew.



I told myself that was

the selfless way, the loving way...



instead of the chicken shit way.



- I was offered a fellowship in fine arts...

- Hi.



- Oh, hi.

- to this school I admired in Idaho.



- Of course, that was out of the question.

- How are you?



The interesting part was,

I never asked the question...



not even of myself.



Sometimes I really don't

understand. I'm serious.



- He leaves his wife--

- He was running two of

his family's magazines now...



- and there were four or five

business affairs each week.

-...a   -year-old girl.



-I was glad to help

and knew he appreciated it.

-It just doesn't make any sense.



I just don't understand

that at all. I don't--



I really don't. I mean,

if you can explain it to me.



- Because--

- Why does one cultivate their daughter?



I mean, they happen to

disagree with each other.



And, over time, I could see

that Ted was becoming bored.



We said less and less.



So I tried harder.



I got pregnant for the worst reason

imaginable, a last attempt to hang on.



Although, of course, I never thought of it

that way at the time.



The good news was,

he adored her.



Honey, should we eat

in or out tonight?



- You decide.

- Well, uh...



if we eat in,

I-I've got lamb chops.



Or I could call Ernie's

or Square One.



Whatever you want.

Really, it'll be great.



Okay. I didn't mean

to interrupt your work.



- I'll figure something out.

- You're not interrupting me.



Really, I meant what I said.

I want to hear what you want.



'Cause I could defrost a chicken

if the lamb chops are too heavy.



You've had a hard day.

I-I don't really care.



I-- I just want you to...



be happy.



Honey, what's wrong?



Did I say something wrong?



It's just that

once in a while...



I would like to hear

what you want.



- What do you mean?

- I mean, I'd like to hear your voice...



even if we disagree.



- You used to be different.

- Different?



- You used to have an opinion.

We used to argue.

- That's what you want?



- You want us to argue?

- I want you to be here.



Honey, I'm here.

I'm here for you. You just have to--



Just tell me what you want.



I told you,

I'll do the chicken.



Are you happy?



Of course I am.



What's her name?



Is she beautiful?



Look, I think that

we have to sell the house...



but anything that you want, any special

things that you need, you let me know.



- Need any cash, you call Barry and he--

- What's her fucking name?



What's the difference?



She's not the reason.



What you going to do with leftovers

after he eat one slice?



Throw it away, I guess.



You ask yourself

why you make this?



Because I know,

even if you don't.



I like being tragic, Ma.



I learned it from you.



You think he sees this pie...



now he's so sorry

take you for granted.



You think this,

you the foolish one.



Every time you give him gift...



like begging.



"Take this. Oh, sorry.



Please forgive me.



I'm not worth as much as you."



So he only take you

more for granted.



You're just like my mother.



Never know what you're worth.



Until too late.



When I went to live

with my mother...



I thought I had

become so happy...



so important.



Then my new family returned

from the countryside:



Wu Tsing, his other wives

and children.



Now I wondered what my place

in this family would be.



First Wife

was a ghost of a woman.



She blinded herself

to the faults of her daughters.



Third Wife never gave

Wu Tsing a son...



and lived in fear

she'd be kicked out.



But even she

outranked my mother...



who was only Fourth Wife...



the newest one.



And finally, Second Wife...



the empress

of the household...



with Wu Tsing's only son.



I watched how my mother

looked at this boy.



And I wondered why.



So you've come back already.



This is the daughter

you wanted permission to bring?



Yes. Her name is An-Mei.



Put this on.



Second Wife,

this is too expensive...



for a small child.



She is not worthy of it.



Who is she to say who is worthy?



A treasure like you...



needs precious pearls

to light up your face.



You may call me Big Mother.



Give them back.

Hurry now.



If you don't thank Big Mother...



you will make me

very angry.



Thank you, Big Mother.



An-Mei, give me the necklace!



I know you don't want to.



But I will not have her buy you

for such a cheap price.



My precious

pearl necklace...



that had almost bought

my mind and heart...



- it was made out of glass.

- Why should you believe me?



I have become nothing.



A Fourth Wife!



A low-class concubine.



But An-Mei...



I was not always like this.



I was a First Wife.



Your father's only wife!



Never forget that!



You are a daughter

of a First Wife.



You can't!



My daughter is with me.



Then send her away.



Or let her watch!




go to your nanny's room.






An-Mei, why are you here alone?



I've been looking for you




Is that his smell?



Why did you bring me here?



Nanny told me.



She told me everything.



You went to West Lake Temple...



to make offerings

in memory of my father.



Wu Tsing saw you there.



Second Wife invited you over...



to play mah-jong.



That night...



Wu Tsing came to your room...



I told her the rest so fast...



as if it would hurt her less.






Ma! Ma! Ma!



No one believed

she was raped.



Not even her own mother.



She had nothing.

No one would take her in.



No one would give her work.



And she was carrying

Wu Tsing's child.



To save her baby...



there was only one place

she could go.



And when he was born,

my little brother...



- Second Wife claimed him as her reward.

- Give me back my son!



An Mei.



I stayed alive...



to keep my hope

of seeing you again one day.



So it's all true!



An Mei, I brought you here

to give you a better life.



But now...



I know what I really have to do.






Mama? Mama?



Mama! Wake up!



Hurry, wake up!






They were doing nothing...



only waiting

for my mother to die.



Second Wife told me

my mother had died by accident...



taking too much opium.



- Lies! I know my mother

killed herself on purpose.

- Mommy!



She had eaten

sticky sweet dumplings...



one after the other,

filled with opium.



When the poison

broke into her body...



she whispered to me that she would

rather kill her own weak spirit...



so she could give me

a stronger one.?



Mama! Mama!






Can you see?



Can you see

I am no longer scared?



I am strong now.



I see clearly now...



what's true and what's false.



My mother chose

the date of her death...



to give me the power

over her enemies.



My mother's ghost will return

in three days to settle scores.



That day will be

the Lunar New Year.



All debts must be paid by then.



Or horrible tragedies

will befall you.



Lord Buddha, forgive me.



So, on that day, Wu Tsing

promised to revere my mother...



as if she had been

First Wife, his only wife.



He promised to raise me

and my mother's son...



as his honored children,

the highest position.



And on that day...n



Second Wife's hair

began to turn white.






And on that day,

I learned to shout.



Mom, what does it mean?



What does it mean, Mommy?



I tell you the story

because I was raised...



the Chinese way.



I was taught

to desire nothing...



to swallow

other people's misery...



and to eat my own bitterness.



And even though I taught

my daughter the opposite...



but still she came out

the same way.



Maybe it is because she was born

to me and she was born a girl.



And I was born to my mother,

and I was born a girl.



All of us like stairs...



one step after another,

going up, going down...



but always going the same way.



But, no, this cannot be.



This, this not knowing

what you're worth.



This not begin with you.



My mother not know her worth...



until too late.



Too late for her, but not for me.



Now we will see

if not too late for you, hmm?



Rose, I'm--

I'm standing out in the rain...



ringing the bell for     minutes.

Are you okay?






Are you okay?






Get out of my house.



You heard me.

Get out!



Honey, it's our house.



We agreed to sell it.

That's why I'm here.



You're not taking my house.



You're not taking my daughter.



You're not taking

any part of me.



'Cause you don't know

who I am..



I died    years ago. 



I ate opium...



and I died...



for my daughter's sake.



Now get out of my house!



- I'm listening.

- It's not your fault, none of it.



I was the one

who told you that...



my love wasn't good enough...



that your love was

worth more than mine.



I was so full of shit.



- Oh.

- Mmm, very good.






- Can I have a bit?

- Oh, it's Auntie June's piece.



- It is?

- Yeah.



- Mmm. Thank you.

- Sure.



- Hi.

- Oh, hi.

- Oh.



It's so wonderful, Rosie,

how everybody's here.



Yeah. Your mom

would've been so proud.



No meal's ever gonna be the same

without your mom's famous crab.



Last Chinese New Year,

we had Auntie Lindo's family to dinner.



- It was the last time

my mom would ever cook...

- Wow!



- her famous crab.

- Yeah, we can eat crab! Mmm, yummy.



Old Chong,

everything all right?



How is everything?



Oh, excellent. Bravo.



Best, best quality.



Thank you.



You see?

Best quality.



That's how my mother was.

Everything had to be the best.



She believed the same about me,

that I could be anything.






I was the biggest disappointment

in my mother's life.



Shoshana, stop playing

with your food.



Say, didn't you play

the piano once?



- No, not really.

- Yeah, I could've sworn.



After all these years,

she was still so sneaky.



Hey, June,

how your business go?



Your mother tell me

you busy, busy, busy.



It's going pretty good.



Although one of my clients

seems to think...



that freelance means free,

just because we're friends.



Listen, June, I don't know

how to tell you this.



But that stuff you wrote--



Well, the firm decided

it was unacceptable.



You're lying. You-- You said--

You said it was terrific.



- I didn't want to hurt your feelings.

- You said that--



I was trying to see

if I could fix it somehow...



- but it just won't work.

- Look, all copy needs fine-tuning.



Rewrites are free, of course.

I'm just as concerned about

making it perfect as you are.



-June, I really don't think--

-Just tell me what they

want to have changed.



I'll give you a call next week, okay?

We'll go over it line by line.



June, I can't.



It's just not...

well, sophisticated.



- I'm sure what you do

for your other clients is wonderful.

- You girls.






And we are a big firm.



And we need somebody

who understands that.



- Who understands our style.

- What does style have to do with it?



Oh, god. I mean, really, June.

"Three benefits. Three needs.



Three reasons to buy.

Satisfaction guaranteed.



- For today's and tomorrow's tax needs."

- That's just part of it.



Yeah, the bad part.




Cannot teach style.



June not like Waverly.



Must be born this way.



I was so humiliated.



Outsmarted by Waverly

and betrayed by my own mother.



I see you didn't

touch your crab.



Like I said at dinner,

not hungry.




Still mad at Waverly? 



How could I be mad at someone

with all that style?



It's just a shame that

I wasn't born that way.



- So it's me you're mad at?

- No.



I'm just sorry that

you got stuck with such a loser...



that I've always been

so disappointing.



What you mean, disappoint?



- Piano?

- Everything.



My grades, my job. 



Not getting married.



- Everything you expected of me.

- Not expect anything!



Never expect!



Only hope. 



Only hoping best for you.

It's not wrong to hope.






Well, it hurts.



Because every time you hoped

for something I couldn't deliver, it hurt.



It hurt me, Mommy.



And no matter

what you hope for...



I'll never be more

than what I am.



And you never see that!



What I really am.



- Uh-huh.




since your baby time...



I wear this

next to my heart.



Now you wear next to yours.



It will help you know. 



I see you.



I see you.



That bad crab,

only you tried to take it.



Everybody else

want best quality.



You, your thinking different.



Waverly took best-quality crab.



You took worst.



Because you have

best-quality heart.



You have style.

No one can teach.



Must be born this way.



I see you.






All right.



Oh, my god.



- Oh!

- Oh!



- To June.

- To June.

- Yeah.



Oh, no.



- Oh, god.

- Thank you.



Well, take all of this love

with you to China tonight.



- Oh.

- Speech, speech.



- Oh, no, no, no, no.

- Yeah, speech, speech.



- I'm not a speaker.

- Louder, louder.

- Louder, louder.



- Stop it.

- Hurry up.






Well, she spilled on my hair.



Not on me.



I've known all of you

for so long--



Rose, Lena, Waverly--



since we were babies

and kids fighting over dolls.



It's amazing, isn't it?



Auntie Lindo,

Auntie Ying Ying...



Auntie An Mei...



long-time friends

of my mother...



you are like

second mothers to me...



in so many ways.






I mean, you gave her back to me

by finding my sisters.



You've given me something

I can still do for her.



Here, I thought it was too late.

Well, it isn't.



All right. Well, good night, TC.

Good night, Daisy.



- Thank you. Bye-bye.

- Uh-huh, okay. Good-bye.



Auntie Lindo?



I have something

I must tell you.



One little thing

I forget tell you.



You know I write letter

to your sisters...



telling them how happy

you are to find them...



how happy you are

you go to China to see them--



Yes, Auntie Lindo,

you've already told me this.



And then I signed it...



from your mother.



What? You signed the letter

in my mother's name?



I try write different letter

telling them...



"So sad, too late.

Mother gone, dead."



But how can I write

such letter? No.



This is my thinking:

Better hear from own sister.



Important news.



- You, only one who can--

- You--



You mean, they think

that she's still alive?



Oh, my God.



My God.



My God. 



You have to write back.

Tell them that she's dead.

I can't tell them that.



Auntie Lindo, you have to write

another letter!



Too late.

No way to do this.



You leaving tonight.

You must go. You tell them.



Anyway, this is best way.

That my thinking.



You know,

ever since Mommy died...



it's like a mystery

where everything is.



She hides everything:

jewelry, even the fake stuff.



For three years

she tried to tell me...



where she hide everything

in case she die.



I guess I wasn't listening.



I, I picked some things for them.



You tell me if they're okay.



This one is from me.



Old photos of Mom in China.



I don't need old photos

for memory. I have lots.



You have lots.

Now they should have her.



Am I right?






Maybe when they see

picture of Mom...



so young, so beautiful...



they can still remember her.



Not like the way she look

when she left them.



The way she looked?



Oh, yes.



Very bad dysentery.



Back then,

no medicine, no doctors.



She almost died, you know.



She never told you?






She thought...



"Better not die

next to my babies.



Nobody saves babies

with such bad luck.



Who wants two babies

with ghost mother following them?



Very bad luck. Very."



You know, everything she had

she left with those babies.



Everything worth anything.



She left a note

with all her gold...



promising more if babies brought

to their father in Chungking.



Ah, so much bad luck.



Then, she thought,

even worser luck:



Someone save her

after she left them.



Put her in a truck.



She woke up in the hospital,

screaming, wanting to die.



Come, sit.



One more thing.



I found this

in Mommy's jewelry box.



I know she was

saving it for you.



Someday she was going

to give to you. I think now.



Go ahead, open.



It's good luck for China.




It's a swan feather.



Swan feather?



She decided...



she couldn't give

that feather to you, not yet.



She didn't think

you would understand.



Well, I guess I was never

very good at listening to her.



No! No, no, no.

She thought...



she wasn't worthy enough

mother to give it to you.



Worthy enough for me?



Because she gave up hope

about her other daughters.



How can she show you

how to hope big...



when she had lost hope?



A mother, mother can never give up

her hope for her own children.



- Never.

- Never.



But she never did.



On the day you're born...



she transfer all her hope to you...



all hope from those babies.



She transferred

all her hopes to me?



Mine too.



Oh, I love you, Daddy.



I will tell them this feather

may look worthless...



but it comes from afar...



and carries with it

all my good intentions.



Hey, hey, hey, hey!






Yeah, yeah, yeah.



Mama's gone to heaven.



- Gone? Mama's dead?

- I'm sorry.






Four months ago.



I'm so sorry.



She loved you very much.



I'm your sister. June. 



Our little sister.



I've come to take

our mother's place.



I've come to bring you

her hopes.



Our sister.



Our family.



It was enough...



for them and for me.



Because really she was there...



and I'd finally

done something for her.



I'd found the best of myself...



what she kept for all of us:

her long-cherished wish.

Special help by SergeiK