After being evicted from their home, the Cheng family finds that times are tighter than ever. Hardworking single mom and recent Boston transplant Elaine tries desperately to find the means to support her young children, Raymond and Tina. They squat in a model apartment in an unfinished building, but try to maintain a normal life. Elaine juggles a number of jobs, including working for a questionable pyramid scheme. Meanwhile, Raymond and Tina become latch—key kids and find amusement in building childish inventions. When Elaine doesn’t return home one night, things take a turn for the worse. Nobody knows the kids are home alone, and they are left to fend for themselves. As the days pass, Raymond realizes he needs to come up with a plan to take care of his little sister. Based on Tze Chun’s own award—winning short film, WINDOWBREAKER, which screened at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival, CHILDREN OF INVENTION is a drama about the influence of an adult world on children, the immigrant mentality, and shortcuts to the American dream. CHILDREN OF INVENTION made its world premiere at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival and won Special Jury Prizes at the 2009 San Francisco International Asian American and Sarasota Film Festivals.
- Tze Chun
- Cindy Cheung, Michael Chen, Crystal Chiu, Lynn Mastio, Stephen Gevedon, Kieran Campion
Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes
Chen and Chiu's genuine, rarely cloying performances along with Cheung's urgent sincerity add immeasurably to this timely film's many modest pleasures.Gary Goldstein, Los Angeles Times, 06.24.2010
Heartfelt but dramatically tepid tale of two kids who must fend for themselves after their single mom goes missing.Frank Lovece, Hollywood Reporter, 04.23.2010
The young director Tze Chun is not a flashy filmmaker, but he understands the vulnerability of immigrant workers in the sleazy sub-rosa economies of a floundering 21st-century America.Ella Taylor, Village Voice, 06.24.2010
Restraint proves a virtue of -- and a shrewd if necessary choice for -- Children of Invention, a modestly scaled, quietly effective independent movie about a struggling single mother and her two children.Manohla Dargis, New York Times, 07.07.2010