Hard Times in the Big Apple.
Adapted from the award-winning short film “My Heavenly City” by Taiwan’s new generation writer/director Sen-I Yu who has personal experience of living in New York, while having ties to Taiwan. Now taking her short film, and expanding her thoughts to a full feature. This story affects the young, the old, and family members facing the struggles of the old ways and the modern city life, in the city that never sleeps. But all-in-all, My Heavenly City is self affirming, and will give you that warm feeling as well as a sense of hope.
My Heavenly City comes to us in three parts, and the first is 15th Street.
Where thirties something Mavis Fang (Vivian Sung, Take Me to the Moon, Our Times) lies in bed with termination notices littering her furniture, and a self-help book on the bed. She works as a Mandarin tutor, but the phone call sees the lessons cancelled. Now Mavis has no money coming in, and to make things worse she has split up from her boyfriend.
But not to get too down, she starts looking online for a job, and finds a translating job, catering for corporate clients to Child Protection services, and MTA. Even though she doesn’t have any experience, she lands the job, but is warned that she must be professional at all times and not get involved with any of the clients. The job is complex and sometimes harrowing, but it is when she meets the young illegal immigrant Xiao Jain (Ming Wu, Boogie, Nerf Assassin (TV Series)) courtesy of Child protection supervisor Danielle (Rae-Shan Nate’ Barclift, An Angry Boy, Ali & The Queens) that this encounter will change Mavis.
Be kind to yourself.
Next is Jack and Lulu.
Jack, a young man that is in New York to study computer science, on the orders of his overbearing mother, but his heart is well and truly embedded in the Hip Hop scene. As he sits on the subway train, a group of Hip Hop dancers perform in front of him and the other passengers. He gives over some of his money when the hat is passed around.
Stay Positive, Test Negative. Have a good one, Bro.
His midterms are coming up, but he spends his time watching video’s of Jino (Jino Fort) while he practices on his apartment roof. When out in the park, he sees Lulu (Jessica Lee, Awkwafina Is Nora from Queens, We Are Living Things) a fashion student, who loves filming the Hip Hop performers. They soon get talking and things go on from there, as they get to know each other. But there is always a spanner in the works.
Lastly we have, Kite.
Jason (Chun-Yao Yao, Au revoir Taipei, Mama Boy) and Claire (Mandy Wei, Operation Mekong, Bad Girls) have a nine-year-old son Jasper (Logan Cheng), and Jasper is the problem as he has mental issues, which manifest as pure violence against his mother, who bears the cuts and bruises of Jasper’s rage. But that is not their only problem, Jason has always been at work as an architect, and all the pressure is on Claire, who’s father is an old style disciplinarian, and doesn’t understand Jasper’s problems. Can they all sort out their problems?
The pull of tradition versus the anonymity of the Big Apple.
There may be troubles, but it is the ability to see past them to a brighter future. Spend two hours finding out how to do that.
|Starring||Vivian Sung, Keung To, Chun-Yao Yao, Mandy Wei, Jessica Lee|