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The Home Song Stories (2007)

A man remembers his childhood and his mother, a Chinese night club singer who struggled to survive in Australia with her two children.



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Credited cast:
Joel Lok ...
Irene Chen ...
Kerry Walker ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Guang Qiao Feng ...
Young May
Leo Fong ...
Wen Xuan
Bing Guo
Philip Lau ...
Fred Lee ...
Slick Chinese man
Yang Li ...
Mr. Sun
Nicholas Opolski ...

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Rose, a Shanhainese songstress singing at nightclubs in HongKong during the 60's, marries an Australian sailor and migrates with her young son and daughter to Melbourne. Her past filled with lost innocence, she begins a cycle of dependence and desperation to create a family for herself and her children, culminating with her affair with Qi, an illegal immigrant from HongKong. Watched through the eyes of her young son, the mother's journey reveals painful truths about the human condition, the love of family and self, and the price we pay for growing up. Written by Anonymous

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A true Australian story See more »




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Release Date:

23 August 2007 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

Histórias da Vida de Uma Cantora  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


A television documentary, "Beyond the Pack Ice" (1968), is seen on a television during the film and is mentioned on the credits. This documentary looks at the work performed by the Australian Antarctic research team based at Mawson Station in the late 1960s. See more »


Let's Pretend
Written by Paul Evans and Paul Parnes
Performed by Lulu
See more »

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User Reviews

22 July 2007 | by (New Zealand) – See all my reviews

I recently got a job at The Embassy Theatre in Wellington, and to just my luck the Film Festival has recently started. We sometimes get to go in and watch the films for free if we aren't doing much. My boss said I could go in to watch, so I jumped at the opportunity (simply because it was a free film).

The Home Song stories is a brilliant film.

The story follows the young Tom at age 10 (i think) as he, his Mother and sister struggle to contain a normal lifestyle, being Chinese immigrants in Australia in the 1970's. A lot of the focus is on his Mother who battles between providing the needs for her children and resenting them, being still quite naive and wanting more freedom.

Joen Chen is fully compelling in probably her best role to date. Joel Lok is already destined to have a great career, who pulled off the most engaging child performance I have seen. For the most part, he reacts passively, with minimal dialogue: it's his woeful looks that draw you in.

The cinematography is fantastic. The color tone seems so natural and real, while still being cinematic. The CU's have great engagement with the character's eyes, with little depth of focus, guiding you to exactly what you should be watching. The slow tracks in and sideways draw you to new developments in the story, working perfectly with the actors' performances.

The story itself is one that is told to its fullest extent that would work for a film, hands up to Tony Ayres! I read some articles and apparently there was a bit more to the story, but would be to much to work structurally.

I am annoyed that after the film finished, I had to leave to get back to work. Because just a few minutes after Tony Ayre himself came out to answer questions from the audience.

Overall, this is one film that SHOULD NOT BE MISSED. Find it! Watch it! I feel like I should have paid for my ticket. But I will probably get the DVD anyway.

I am absolutely sure most people will like this film. It's a beauty. :-)

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