The Story

Out of Place is a dual narrative film that explores both the disconnection and the connection between two immigrant lives. A young aspiring Chinese pianist and a handsome Mexican house painter, unaware of them being neighbors, go through a day of disillusionment in symphony. Their stories, in its core, are to examine a universal longing to belong and the unfortunate reality of feeling still, out of place.

      I came to America in 2013 in pursuit of a dream in its typical vagueness of a young person that I’m going to become somebody. I used to call my mother every Sunday and say that my life is exactly how I want it to be and I have been eating right, sleeping right, studying right, loving right. My mom would then tell me that she’s not lonely, that she’s been well, that I shouldn’t worry about a thing because she’s well. More than well. Of course the truth would come out later. 

 

      In reality, I would have my heart broken by some boy and then another, by some disappointment over my personal failures, by the guilt of leaving my family behind, by the terrifying anxiety that I’m not becoming the person that I thought I would be. And my mother was in fact so tired of working, so bored of the lonely routine of everyday, so worried of her not giving me everything that she couldn’t sleep. 

 

      Now I look back at those conversations over the phone and I would wonder what terrible lies they are, and how heartbreaking and also how beautiful. 

 

         Out of Place is made up of these lies and truths.

Peier "Tracy" Shen

​Writer & Director

It started with a dream...

© 2018 All Rights Reserved. American Film Institute