Small Talk


Small Talk

Sunday, Apr 9, 2017 • 12:30 PM

MFA, Boston

Mandarin Documentary

"My mother and I have lived like strangers under one roof for decades. The only exchanges between us are the meals she cooks for me since we never talk to each other. One day, I finally summon up the courage to sit her down and make her talk. But am I ready to hear what she has to say?"

Anu is a tomboy. Although she was married off at a young age – as was customary in Taiwan in the 1970s – and had two children, she quickly divorced her violent husband and brought up her daughters alone. Since then her only relationships have been with women who, like her, earn a living as professional mourners at funerals. One of her daughters is filmmaker Hui-chen Huang. It’s considered taboo in Chinese culture to question a mother’s unconditional love, and yet this is exactly the topic of Huang’s intimate portrait. Mother and daughter set off on a journey together into the past during which Anu is confronted with questions that have tormented her daughter for years. In a series of long shots the two women discuss such topics as trust, abuse and cognisance, and yet most of these discussions end in painful silence. Shifting focus in order to plumb the depths of the depicted room, the director attempts to understand her mother by also talking to her mother’s siblings and ex-lovers. In doing so she paints a picture of changing living conditions for three generations of women in Taiwan.

US PREMIERE - 2017 TEDDY Award Winner for best Queer feature at the Berlin Film Festival.

The program is proudly co-presented by Cafe Philo @ Boston, The Taiwanese Association of America Boston Chapter, The New England Association of Chinese Professionals, The Boston Asian American Film Festival, and the Harvard Taiwan Student Association.

Penny & Dee

This story chronicles the complex relationship between a middle aged woman named Penny and her ex-husband, now a transgender woman name Dee. Although the two are no longer married, they remain best friends and neighbors in the same apartment building. Penny actively supports Dee's blooming exploration into womanhood and her attempts to relaunch her acting career as a woman. Although it is clear that the two women love and care for one another, their relationship comes with it's own set of unique challenges.

Dir. Jamie Dack. 6 min. USA. 2015.

Directed by Jamie Dack 6 m English USA