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Small Talk (Ri Chang Dui Hua)
Directed by Hui-Chen Huang
88 min | 2017 | Taiwan | Not Rated
Presented in Taiwanese with English subtitles.
Director Huang Hui-chen attempts to explore, reveal, and reconcile her family life with her lesbian mother, A-nu, a Taoist priestess, in this poignant film. Though A-nu has always been a tomboy, she was married at a young age and had two children during the 1970s.
Now nearly 40, Huang wants to understand a mother who has constantly acted cold and unloving. Through patience and prodding, Huang tries to break down the walls of silence that make up their shared history and better understand where her mother comes from and how the two have arrived at this place in their lives.
Small Talk is a very intimate Taiwanese documentary about the choices we make to survive and protect others, even when those choices appear to jeopardize our own happiness. A most revealing series of conversations between a mother and daughter expose difficult truths about the sacrifices they’ve made, plumb their deepest emotions, and offer honest answers that break your heart and fill your soul with the freedom and honesty that mark their relationship. Never has the phrase, “the truth will set you free,” seemed truer and more powerful than in this remarkable film.
— Paul Johnson
Winner: Teddy Award for Best Documentary Film–2017 Berlin International Film Festival