Film explores Chinese immigrant experience

A scene from Meditation Park. photo courtesy of Colin Bentley

RCB Film Club is screening Meditation Park, a heart-warming movie from Canada, at the RCB Forum, 2nd floor of River City Bangkok, Charoen Krung 24, on Saturday Nov 27 at 4pm.

This film is one more addition to the four noteworthy movies that independent Canadian director Mina Shum has made previously -- which have won awards at top festivals of the world like Berlin, Sundance and Toronto -- on the immigrant perspective in East Vancouver.

Set in the Chinese community of Canada, the movie is about Maria, a loving, devoted wife whose life is shaken when she discovers a lady's panties in her husband's trouser pocket. He is an intelligent extrovert husband who calls the shots at home.

With her limited English skills and closed lifestyle, Maria learns how dependent she is on her husband, and realises that she needs to improve. She soon joins a gang of lively Chinese housewives in the neighbourhood, who make money out of (illegally) selling cheap parking tickets.

With the money she earns, she stalks her husband and quickly learns his secret. She also makes friends with a neighbour, Gabriel, and realises that he is as vulnerable as her.

Meanwhile, their daughter Ava and her husband visit them. The couple has their own stress as they try to balance careers and parenthood. Maria also hears of their estranged son's forthcoming marriage.

The canvas is full of interesting characters, and the immigrant scenario is fascinating and thought-provokingly mapped out. Most unique, however, is Maria's change from a nervous immigrant wife who barely speaks English, to a woman of confidence and power.

The movie had its world premiere at the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival and earned the Audience Award at the CAAM Festival (Centre for Asian-American Media Festival).

Tickets cost 100 baht and can be purchased from ticketmelon.com/rivercitybangkok/rcbfilmcanada.

Email rcbfilmclub@gmail.com.

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