Every year, Jason, Alex, and newly married Mark and Karen leave New York for a North Carolina beach house to reconnect and relax. But this year is different: Jason has been diagnosed with an aggressive terminal cancer, repurposing their trip as a meaningful—yet uncertain—farewell. Sharing laughter and camaraderie in even the most quotidian activities, the friends struggle to conceal their grief and use their disillusionment as an affirmative force. Some time later, as Mark and Karen prepare for the birth of their first child, memories of Jason seep into their new phase of life.
Inspired by the poetry of Gerald Stern, a onetime poet laureate from New Jersey, Lee Isaac Chung's follow-up to the acclaimed Munyurangabo is a sharply observed, soft-spoken rumination on companionship, memory, life, and loss. Steeping the film in woeful hues leavened in baths of light, through wide angels and even archival footage, cinematographers Jenny Lund and Koji Otsuka poignantly capture the ephemeral quality of a moment in progress, and the life that happens in between.