© Salzgeber & Co. Medien GmbH

Germany/Taiwan 2009

Opening 30 Apr 2009

Directed by: Monika Treut
Writing credits: Astrid Ströher, Monika Treut
Principal actors: Inga Busch, Huan-Ru Ke, Ting Ting Hu, Jana Schulz, Marek Harloff

German director Monika Treut goes to Taipei and Hamburg for a film about Ai-ling, who flies to Germany to discover the story behind her father’s death. She works in her Uncle Chen Fu’s Hamburg restaurant. Fast forward to Sophie Schmitt, an artist who presents her installation called “Remembrance” in Taipei. It features her deceased lover, Ai-ling. The film goes back and forth in time and along the way picks up journalist Mei-li and internet artist Judy. In this film about four women, which showed in competition for the gay Teddy Award at the 2009 Berlinale, not all threads come together. Perhaps there is a lack of cohesion in the script. Perhaps Chinese ghosts are at work: now you see them, now you don’t. In spite of the confusion, I enjoyed the Chinese ghost celebration in which the dead are honoured with the burning of incense and paper money. I also recognized familiar scenes in Hamburg such as Man Wah restaurant, the Reeperbahn, Metropolis cinema, and the Karolinenviertel (if I’m not mistaken – with ghosts, you never know). Trent has a 15-year-history of turning out successful documentary, feature, and short films. The cast, e.g., Inga Busch, Huan-Ru Ke, and Ting-Ting Hu, is sufficiently professional. It’s just the storyline which leaves too much to the imagination and, sorry to say, the music is enough to drive anybody crazy. (Becky Tan)

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