Storage units are windows into human histories: the silent cells with their discarded objects and dust-covered furniture are inscribed with past dreams, secret hopes and lives we cannot let go of. Moving from steel cage to steel cage, we encounter tales of heartbreak, loneliness and despair, and stories of liberation, adventure and leaving the past behind. Steel Homes explores the fragmented nature of memories, set in the starkly beautiful aesthetic of our modern industrial world.
After being evicted from their home, the Cheng family finds that times are tighter than ever. Hardworking single mom Elaine tries desperately to find the means to support her young children, Raymond and Tina. They squat in a model apartment in an unfinished building outside Boston, but try to maintain a normal life. Elaine juggles a number of jobs, including working for a questionable pyramid scheme.
Meanwhile, Raymond and Tina become latch-key kids and find amusement in building childish inventions. In an unexpected test of resourcefulness, they are left to fend for themselves when their mother disappears. Based on Tze Chun's own award-winning short film Windowbreaker, Children of Invention is a drama about the influence of an adult world on children, the immigrant mentality, and shortcuts to the American dream.