Clean (I) (2004)
- Summaries (4)
After she ends up in prison and loses custody of her son, a woman struggles to assimilate outside her former life and remain clean long enough to regain custody of her son.
London-based Emily Wang gained minor notoriety from her VJ-ing on cable television. She is now more renowned for being the longtime girlfriend and pseudo manager of rock musician Lee Hauser, who seems to be on the brink of stardom. Those that know the couple believe she is a bad influence on him, and is the reason why he is a junkie. After Lee dies from an accidental heroin overdose and Emily is imprisoned for six months on possession charges, she learns that the courts have awarded custody of their young adolescent son, Jay, to Lee's aging parents, Albrecht and Rosemary Hauser, who live in Vancouver. A concerned Albrecht asks that she not attempt to see Jay for at least two years while she cleans up her act so as to give Jay a fighting chance at a decent life. Emily initially agrees, knowing that she is in no position to look after Jay. To regain her life, she decides to move back to her old stomping grounds of Paris. As Emily tries mostly unsuccessfully to become clean while eking out a living doing what she wants to earn money, which is primarily still in the realm of rock music, Rosemary poisons Jay's mind about his mother. Caught in the middle is Albrecht, who, out of personal circumstance, wants Jay to eventually have a relationship with his mother if only because he knows that he and Rosemary will not be able to look after Jay until adulthood and that Emily is the only other family he has.
The former successful forty-two year old rock star Lee Hauser is decadent and his friends blame his wife Emily Wang for the fall in his career due to excessive use of drugs. Their son Jay is raised by his paternal grandparents Albrecht and Rosemary Hauser in Vancouver. When Lee dies of overdose in a motel room, Emily is sentenced to six months in jail. She moves to Paris where she unsuccessfully struggles to keep clean. When she decides to retrieve the guard of her son, she is supported by her father-in-law and finds the necessary strength to rebuild her life.
Emily Wang is a woman who wrestles with her dream of becoming a singer, her fitness as a mother, and daily life without her partner Lee. Her past is riddled with drugs and regrets, the result of which left Lee dead in a desolate motel room in Hamilton, Ontario, and landed Emily with a six-month jail sentence. The only thing that she desires for the future is a loving relationship with her son Jay, who is being cared for by Lee's parents, Albrecht and Rosemary. While Rosemary blames Emily for the death of Lee, Albrecht recognizes the importance of the bond between a mother and her son, and his faith sets the standard for the faith Emily must find in herself. Clean follows Emily to Hamilton, Paris, London and San Francisco and in three languages (English, French and Cantonese), as she battles for a place in a world reluctant to forget the woman she has been and unwilling to accept her as the woman she longs to be.
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