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FICTION

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HARRIET & ELLIE 

Rheya wants to make sure that her mom, who is a Personal Chef, won't use her pet goats for a new recipe.  

Nova - Film by Wenhwa Tsao

NOVA is a short Sci-Fi film investigates the building of genetically modified and scientifically improved human and its ethical impact.  Jin, an ailing old geneticist and biochemist, created the heroin of the story Nova to serve his personal need, a daughter to love him.  

Towing - Film by Wenhwa Tsao

TOWING

A recently discharged soldier struggling to make the adjustment to civilian life by supporting her family as a tow truck driver.  One night, after helping out at a horrible accident, she encounters a States Attorney, on the side of the road after he has hit a beautiful dog.  When Red tries to ask him to take responsibility for his actions she is confronted with death yet again. 

Dumplings - Film by Wenhwa Tsao
Arithmetic Lesson - Film by Wenhwa Tsao

DUMPLINGS

A mother says goodbye to her adopted Asian daughter who is leaving on a journey to find her maternal mother. As the daughter leaving becomes a reality, the mother learns that the right thing to do is send her daughter on her way with total support instead of holding her back.

ARITHMETIC LESSON takes a hard look at the often oversimplified phenomenon of child abuse as it tells the story of a seven-year-old Chinese American girl’s sexually and physical abuse by her live-in maid.  A young child does not know the harm or implications of sexual and physical abuse, and to Gracie, Ah-San gives the attention her parents are unable to provide.  There is no simple way to explain the effects that sexual and physical abuse have on a vulnerable young child.  Ah San’s presence in Gracie’s life is a confused blend of pain, shame, and companionship.

Wonton - Film by Wenhwa Tsao

WONTON is a story about a young Chinese woman and her witty escape during an Immigration Customs Enforcement raid of the US restaurant where she is illegally employed.  Not only does Grace get away, she helps Armando, an underage Salvadorian dishwasher, to avoid the fate of the other undocumented workers, who are subjected to humiliating treatment, capture, and possible deportation. The film gives a glimpse into the microcosm of life in a Chinese restaurant in US, and through a simple story, magnifies the need for human beings to have the right to pursue a better life.

DOCUMENTARY

Fung Tsao Theories - Film by Wenhwa Tsao

FUNG TSAO THEORIES is a funny and loving film about the filmmaker’s Chinese mother’s philosophy of life.  In making this film, Wenhwa attempted to preserve the memories of her family, who live over 10,000 miles away, on film. All footage was shot in Taiwan with super-8mm reversal film then transferred and edited on video. 

Pei Pei's Wedding - Film by Wenhwa Tsao

PEI PEI’S WEDDING is a home-style documentary film about the filmmaker’s sister Pei Pei on the day before, the day of her wedding and the associated ritual.  Pei Pei lives in Taiwan.  She is very happy with her life.  She has no problem with a woman’s role in society there, which is very different than Pei Pei’s filmmaker sister’s point of view.  It is a film about trans-culture, the blend and separation of East and West which, at times, may evoke laughter.  Rich with lots of interesting rituals and food in the film, this film satisfies both mind and spirit.

EXERCISE WITH CHING YUNG is an experimental documentary film that presents the filmmaker’s retired father who likes to exhibit his own creation of Tai Chi in public and sings Karaoke with his friends.  This film explores the internal struggle of being the daughter of an old-fashioned Chinese father, whose lifelong wish has been to have a son to carry on his family name.  The film examines the father-daughter relationship and investigates the daughter’s struggle with whether and how to fulfill her father’s expectations.

EXERIMENTAL

Against Filial Piety - Film by Wenhwa Tsao
Disunion with Union of Suffering - Film by Wenhwa Tsao

AGAINST FILIAL PIETY ponders one of the oldest Chinese beliefs; the gravest offense of filial piety is not to have offspring to carry on the family name and blood.  The film also relates to feelings of failure in not being able to fulfill the filial responsibility.  This five minute, single framed, 16mm experimental film includes the word “barren” from 34 different written languages, which were extracted from dictionaries.  The individual word or symbol disintegrates as it being enlarged to resemble landscapes or graphic shapes.  The colorful technical drawings of human anatomy and the cycle of childbirth are combined and contrasted against the monotone enlargement of Xerox copies of the word “barren” which breaks up and converges throughout the progression of film. 

DISUNION WITH THE UNION OF SUFFERING illustrates and applauds the complex design of the human form – from cells to flesh – and celebrates the amazing cognitive ability each human possesses to transfer perceptions.  Using images of cells, anatomy, and butterfly metamorphosis, the film creates an atlas of the subconscious mind.  The vivacious score and staccato rhythm of vibrant, single-frame images alert us to the working of our own eyes and ears.

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