A Movie Review - Red Doors
In the media, especially in Western countries, Chinese are often depicted as the “upstanding citizen.” The hardworking immigrants that work long hours, always get ‘A’s, always win the spelling bees or chess tournaments, and the biggest family issue is who is going to be the next doctor in the family.
In reality, Chinese families offer as much or more turmoil than the popular “troubled” families of TV sitcoms. Not only to most Chinese families struggle with generation gaps, there are also cultural and value differences. Many family members exist with their own internal conflicts of trying to decide which world they are suppose to belong to.
Over the last few years, movies about Chinese culture have focused on the action-packed, Martial Arts flicks. Even then, few, if any, of the movies reach any acclaim outside of the immediate Chinese community. Stories that talk about the lives of Chinese, such as Eat, Drink, Man, Woman or The Joy Luck Club, are few and far in between.
A new, emerging writer and director here in the United States, Georgia Lee, has been receiving a lot of praise lately for her latest work Red Doors. This movie follows the lives of the Wong family, living in the suburbs of New York. Mr. Wong is retiring and reflects upon happier days in his life and how different all their lives are. His three children are each at different stages of their own lives and coping with their own issues against the backdrop of their culture. One is trying to understand love and marriage. Another is looking for her own identity and passion in life. And still a third struggles with the pressures of being a teenager in today’s society.
Finally, the film industry is listening and taking notice that there’s more to Chinese culture than just fighting. This film had won Best Narrative Feature prize at the 2005 Tribeca Film Festival in New York and the Grand Jury Award for screenwriting at the 2005
Outfest Film Festival in Los Angeles.