Student or Learner
What does "heart-tugging" mean?
"Supporting performances are generally in high order, though McDaniel's heart-tugging Mammy is rather cloying".
Not a teacher.
A performance or story that is designed to make you react in an emotional way, that appeals to your emotions (as opposed to your thoughts) can be said to be "tugging at your heartstrings."
"Heart-tugging" as used here references this idea.