After Yang

image for After Yang

Short takes

Not suitable under 10; parental guidance to 12 (themes and coarse language). Will likely lack interest for many children.

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for After Yang
  • a review of After Yang completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 26 April 2022.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 10 Not suitable due to themes and coarse language.
Children aged 10–12 Parental guidance recommended due to themes, coarse language, and likely lack of interest.
Children over the age of 12 Ok for this age group but will likely lack interest for most children.

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: After Yang
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild themes and coarse language
Length: 96 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

To help them raise their adopted daughter Mika (Malea Emma Tjandrawidjaja), Jake (Colin Farrell) and Kira (Jodie Turner-Smith) buy a nearly-new, yet refurbished, techno-sapien called Yang (Justin H. Min). Yang is like an older brother to Mika and is always there to assist her and help her maintain links to her cultural heritage, until the day he suddenly stops and cannot be restarted. Jake takes him to multiple places in an effort to do all he can to bring Yang back to life but when they discover a special chip believed to be spyware, expert help is needed. Slowly, Jake pieces together Yang’s story and finds that he had a life beyond his household. Yang had a friend named Ada (Hayley Lu Richardson) and he lived other lives, long before he became Mika’s brother. Increasingly, Jake, Kira and Mika begin to realise that Yang is not coming back and that they need to reconnect with each other and go on with their lives without him. At the same time, they realise that Yang does not belong to them alone and that his story needs to be shared.

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Loss of a loved one; Grief; Interracial adoption; Prejudice; The perils of spyware.

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some violence in this movie, including:

  • Mika is sent home from school for punching a kid and screaming at him.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • None noted.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes and scary visual images, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged five to eight, including the following:

  • Some children may be upset by the scenes in which Yang is shown unresponsive with a hole in his chest as various individuals try to ascertain what exactly went wrong with him. Mika is very sad about Yang’s situation and doesn’t want to leave him. She struggles to understand what is happening around her in relation to the loss of her brother.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

  • Nothing further of concern.

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in this movie:

  • No particular brands are noted but there is a scene involving Ramen noodles and a couple of scenes that focus on the art of drinking of tea.

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • Jake asks Ada if, “she and Yang were...”, romantically involved is what is implied. Ada responds that, “We never really talked about us in that way”.

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some nudity and sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • There are a number of scenes where Jake’s bare chest is shown.
  • Kira changes her clothes and she and Jake talk while she is getting undressed. Much of the conversation occurs while she is just wearing her bra. Nothing below the torso is shown.

Use of substances

  • None noted.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • Multiple uses of, “Shit”.
  • “Bullshit” is used once.

In a nutshell

After Yang is a slow paced, quiet film that offers viewers a different perspective on life and what is really important. Scenes are repeated for poignancy and certain images are held still and allowed to linger. While it showcases an interesting perspective on life and loss and the processing of grief, the film will likely be of little interest for younger viewers and will be best enjoyed by older, mature audiences.

The main messages from this movie are that 'there is not something without nothing'; that families come in all shapes and sizes; and that the end is also the beginning.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • Persistence
  • The importance of family
  • Cooperation
  • Integrity
  • Love.

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as:

  • Picking on someone because of their racial background or the fact that they do not look like the rest of their family.
  • The challenges that interracial families face and how we can be sensitive and compassionate regarding them.
  • Not communicating or being honest with our loved ones.
  • Stereotyping certain people (or clones) and not treating them kindly because they are different.
  • Handling the grief that comes with a loss.
  • The government or large companies using spyware on consumers.