As part of this year’s Open City Documentary Festival, Small Talk will be screened at the Genesis Cinema on Saturday the 9th of September at 20:30. 95 and 6 to Go will be screened at the Picturehouse Central on Thursday, September 7th at 18:30.
Both films draw on themes of family relations, communication and identity in an Asian environment whilst subverting stereotypes and celebrating culture.
Small Talk: It’s considered taboo in Taiwanese culture to question a mother’s unconditional love, let alone the love of an openly butch lesbian mother. That is what Taiwanese director Hui-Chen Huang does in her portrait of a complex mother-daughter relationship in Small Talk (2016). Through personal encounters, she sheds light on the family’s intense past, embarking on a journey of reconciliation.
Anu is not a woman of many words, at least not around her family. Growing up as a tomboy she unhappily entered an arranged marriage at a young age, as was customary in 1970s Taiwan. After giving birth to two daughters she fled her violent, good-for-nothing husband and brought up the children on her own – working as a professional funeral mourner, and living a lesbian half-life of smoking, drinking and gambling with her friends and lovers. Her daughter (filmmaker Hui-chen Huang, now with a young daughter of her own) started making this raw, intimate documentary 20 years ago to work through their stilted relationship, and understand what kind of a mother she wants to be for the next generation.
It is considered taboo in Taiwanese culture to question a mother’s unconditional love, let alone the love of an openly butch lesbian mother, yet that is exactly what Huang sets out to do in her multifaceted portrait of a complex mother-daughter relationship. Through a series of intense and sometimes frustrating personal encounters, she tries to shed light on the family’s silenced past in order to confront painful shared experiences and to embark on a journey of reconciliation.
In partnership with Fringe! Queer Film & Arts Fest