“Small Talk is the director’s courageous portrayal of her family story, which gives the audience an inside look at a culture we might not be familiar with. This powerful documentary manages to be of universal significance and extremely intimate at the same time.”
— Teddy Jury at the Berlinale Panorama
In partnership with QFest, Asia Society Texas Center presents a special screening of Small Talk, directed by Hui-Chen Huang. The Taiwanese documentary won the 2017 Teddy Award for Best Documentary.
3:00 pm | Opening remarks
3:15 pm | Small Talk Screening
About the Film
Director: Hui-Chen Huang, 2016, Taiwan, 88 minutes
Anu is a tomboy. Married off at a young age—as was customary in Taiwan in the 1970s—she had two children. Anu soon divorced her violent husband and raised her daughters alone. Since then, her only romantic relationships have been with women whom, like her, earn a living as professional mourners at funerals.
It’s considered taboo in Taiwanese culture to question a mother’s love, but that’s exactly the topic of this intimate portrait by her daughter, Hui-chen Huang. Mother and daughter set off on a journey together into the past, during which Hui-chen confronts Anu with questions that have tormented Hui-chen for many years.
In a series of long shots the two women discuss loneliness, trust, and abuse, yet most of these discussions end in painful silence. Shifting focus in order to plumb the depths of their relationship, Hui-chen attempts to understand her mother by also talking to her mother’s siblings and ex-lovers. In doing so she paints a picture of the changing lives and conditions for three generations of women in Taiwan.