Nian nian (2015)

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Nian nian: Directed by Sylvia Chang. With Isabella Leong, Lawrence Ko, Hsiao-chuan Chang, Angelica Lee. An artist reunites with her brother after the two were separated years ago when she left Liudau, an island off of Taiwan.

“As the tide recedes little fish are trapped in tiny pools. This is until the next big wave returns the fish to the ocean where they belong. Stories, like the incoming tide, connect us to others and the world around us. Yet this is true only so long as we hold onto the stories in our hearts.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eAs children on remote Green Island, Mei and Nanu0026#39;s mother told them a tale of a curious mermaid who left her home in order to see the world beyond the sea. Their mother often changed the storyu0026#39;s ending and the children never knew why. Mei and Nan treasured this story that they shared. However, dire circumstances separated brother and sister while they were still very young. Their parents also faded from their lives. The siblings grew up apart and out of touch. As adults both Mei, a painter, and Nan, the caretaker of a church, are restless and angry. There are many unanswered questions in their lives that they canu0026#39;t seem to come to terms with. Mei often lashes out at her boyfriend who has enough troubles of his own. Nan loses a friend. Fears and loneliness play with their emotions and eat away at them. Through all this their motheru0026#39;s story calls to them.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThis wonderful and touching story is accompanied by beautiful imagery of ocean waves, flashes of sunlight, wildflowers, colorful pools and candles. We hear the soothing sounds of rainfall, wind chimes and a lullaby sung in the night. The film comes together so well with capable acting, directing and transitions, and interesting techniques such as flashbacks, dream-scapes and movement back and forth between fantasy and reality. Best of all, the themes of the film are brilliant and profoundly moving. Why do we do things, because of what we are or what we try to be? How important are stories in our lives? How much of our lives are determined by our childhood experiences? What are we trying to prove on our own? Where is our home? What is comforting in all these questions is that love is never lost. Seen at the Toronto International Film Festival 2015.”


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