Support Aeon

Ideas can change the world

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview.
But we can’t do it without you.

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview. Our mission is to create a sanctuary online for serious thinking.

No ads, no paywall, no clickbait – just thought-provoking ideas from the world’s leading thinkers, free to all. But we can’t do it without you.

Become a Friend for $5 a month or Make a one-off donation

Tough

5 minutes

An immigrant mother and her daughter finally explore the things they had left unsaid

Born in the UK to a Chinese mother whose parents were targeted by the state during Mao’s Cultural Revolution, Jennifer Zheng grew up uncertain about her own cultural identity. In her BAFTA-nominated short animation Tough, Zhang brings her childhood questions to her mother in a first conversation between the two as adults, trying to find clues to her own identity in her mother’s story. Learning that from age 11 her mother thought her own parents were bad and so she didn’t listen to them, Zheng turns to wondering whether she disappointed her parents by adopting the culture around her in the UK and not learning Chinese. Evocatively animated and deftly scored, the film is both personal and universal in its appeal, speaking to the unique contours of Zheng’s relationship with her mother and the wider theme of the drift of generations, particularly among immigrant families.

Director: Jennifer Zheng

Composer: K Preston Merkley

Support Aeon

Ideas can change the world

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview.

But we can’t do it without you.

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview. Our mission is to create a sanctuary online for serious thinking.

No ads, no paywall, no clickbait – just thought-provoking ideas from the world’s leading thinkers, free to all. But we can’t do it without you.

Become a Friend for $5 a month or Make a one-off donation

Essay/History
Do civilisations collapse?

The idea that the Maya or Easter Islanders experienced an apocalyptic end makes for good television but bad archaeology

Guy D Middleton

Essay/History
Struggling to see Palestine

For Westerners, the Bible and its prophecies have obscured as much as they've revealed about the Holy Land

Michael Press