Digging to China (1997) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • 10-year-old Harriet dreams of leaving her home, where she doesn't feel she's needed by her mother and sister Gwen. When her mother dies in a car accident, she really starts to make plans for leaving and she finally does so together with her childlike (mentally ill) friend Ricky.

  • Harriet's alcoholic mother owns a hotel, she and her promiscuous sister Gwen live there. Harriet is a lonely child, she doesn't like her life, or her world and keeps looking for an escape to a better one, her plans include digging to china and leaving on a UFO. One day a car breaks down near the hotel and the couple inside takes a room. The couple is Ricky, an intellectually disabled man, and his sick mother Leah. Ricky's mother is dying of cancer and they were on their way to a home so that he would be taken care of after she is gone. Harriet and Ricky become friends over their common interest in a different life. Their bond and their desire for escape grows stronger after Harriet's mother dies, as he stands by her during her grief she try's to do the same in helping him deal with the fact that he is different and will soon be very alone. They are each others best and only friends and as they cling on to each other as for dear life, Gwen who doesn't understand their relationship tries to keep them apart.

  • Harriet, a ten-year old girl, lives together with her big sister and her alcoholic mother out in the countryside. The family runs a motel. Harriet is different from the others, as she owns a great creativity and has nobody to play with. Her infinite world exists only in her mind. One day, Ricky comes along. He is a grown-up, but intellectually disabled son of an elderly lady. Soon, Harriet and Ricky share their experiences of life from a different point of view and become close friends. But his mother still plans to give Ricky away into professional care in a home, because she won't live forever to be there for him.


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