“I have tried to become a better person,” says Krisha (Krisha Fairchild) to explain why she abandoned her family years ago. “I have stayed away while I was healing myself,” she adds optimistically, while scenes of her trying to drink a bottle of wine as quickly as she can belie her words.
A male member of her family cuts through her bullshit. “You are a leaver,” he hisses. “You are heartbreak incarnate.” But the most heartrending moments are when she attempts to tell her grown-up son why she left, and he’s either too broken or too indifferent to take in what she has to say.
Whether Krisha will be able to rejoin her family when she visits them on Thanksgiving forms the crux of this debut film, which was an official selection at this year’s Cannes Critics’ Week and a winner of grand jury and audience awards at SXSW 2015.