Director: Hui-chen Huang
Runtime: 88 min
Festival year: 2017
The intimacy of autobiographical documentary is unequivocal. In director Hui-chen Huang’s case, her mother-daughter documentary isn’t only intimate, but it also breaks a taboo in her culture in its questioning of a mother’s unconditional love. Anu (Hui-chen Huang’s mother) 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, Anu has become a Taoist priestess, and has had many, many relationships with women.
Throughout the documentary, the director attempts to better understand her mother through a series of long conversations about topics such as trust, abuse, and cognizance. Frequently these conversations end in painful silence, and yet even the silences reveal a deep yearning for closeness. Will this mother and daughter close the gap between them by the time the credits roll? Small Talk won the Teddy Award for Best Documentary at the 2017 Berlinale.
Spotlight Sponsor: SFU Woodward’s Cultural Programs
Screening Sponsor: Coast Coal Harbour Hotel by APA, IATSE Local 891
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