Duration: 99 mins
Written & Directed by Anthony Chen
Starring: Yeo Yann Yann, Chen Tian Wen, Angeli Bayani, Koh Jia Ler
It's been some time since a Singapore film found its way to the prestigious Cannes Film Festival, and now, it's none other than Anthony Chen's debut feature film ILO ILO (爸妈不在家 / Ba Ma Bu Zai Jia) making its world premiere in the prestigious Directors' Fortnight section in Cannes next month. Anthony is no stranger to Cannes, having previous won a Special Mention for this short film Ah Ma, back in 2007. This movie's participation qualifies it to compete for the Caméra d'Or award, so it's indeed an exciting time ahead for the filmmaker, who had drawn inspiration for the film from personal experience.
Set in Singapore, ILO ILO chronicles the relationship between the Lim family and their newly arrived maid, Teresa. Like many other Filipino women, she has come to this city in search of a better life. Her presence in the family worsens their already strained relationship. Jiale, the young and troublesome son start to form a unique bond with Teresa, who soon becomes an unspoken part of the family.
But this is 1997 and the Asian Financial Crisis is starting to be felt in the region…
Unless you have a ticket to Cannes, you'd have to twiddle your thumbs while waiting for the local premiere later this year. In the meantime, you can check out the movie's official website here.