Berlinale: Programme

Panorama Dokumente

Ri Chang Dui Hua

Small Talk

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Anu is a tomboy. Although she was 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 her only relationships have been with women who, like her, earn a living as professional mourners at funerals. One of her daughters is filmmaker Hui-chen Huang. It’s considered taboo in Chinese culture to question a mother’s unconditional love, and yet this is exactly the topic of Huang’s intimate portrait. Mother and daughter set off on a journey together into the past during which Anu is confronted with questions that have tormented her daughter for years. In a series of long shots the two women discuss such topics as trust, abuse and cognisance, and yet most of these discussions end in painful silence. Shifting focus in order to plumb the depths of the depicted room, the director attempts to understand her mother by also talking to her mother’s siblings and ex-lovers. In doing so she paints a picture of changing living conditions for three generations of women in Taiwan.

Hui-chen Huang

Taiwan 2016


Documentary form
88 min · Colour


Hui-chen Huang
Director of Photography
Che Lin
Jessica Wan Yu Lin
Giong Lim, Point
Executive Producer
Hsiao-hsien Hou
Diana Chiawen Lee


Hui-chen Huang

Born in Taiwan in 1978, at the age of six she began supporting her mother in her work as a Taoist priestess in funeral processions. She had to leave school in the third grade to help her single parent make ends meet and learnt to read and write from comic books and television. At 20 she became a political activist and worked with labour organisations and unions as well as beginning to make documentary films. Her short films, which focus on the plight of domestic and migrant workers in Taiwan, have screened at numerous international festivals.


2006 Hospital Wing 8 East 2009 Uchan Is Going Home 2016 The Priestess Walks Alone · Ri Chang Dui Hua (Small Talk)

Produced by

Small Talk Productions
Taipei, Taiwan
+886 9780 52816