Hong Khaou's Lilting tells the story of a Cambodian-Chinese mother, Junn, who was recently placed in a elderly community by her son, Kai, in London. Kai lives with Richard, who he is madly in love with, though he never had the courage to come out to his mother. When Kai dies in a tragic accident, Junn's world is flipped upside down, sending her into mourning. Soon after, Junn has an unexpected visitor in Richard, who feels responsible for making sure Kai's mother is taken care of. Unaware of her son's sexuality, Junn blames Richard for taking her son away from her, wanting nothing to do with her son's "friend". With no common language between them, Richard hires a translator to help communicate, hoping they can both find solace in each other over the memory of a man they both loved. Hong Khaou's Lilting is a pensive study of love and loss, looking at how two characters from very different cultural backgrounds struggle to connect. Both these central characters have their own unique pain, stemming from Kai's death. Kai could never grow the courage to come out to his mother which now leaves Richard struggling to put into words how much they cared for each other. He wants Junn to understand, but struggles with the idea of revealing Kai's sexuality to his mother, something Kai himself was never able to do. Junn on the otherhand feels abandoned by her son, questioning her own son's love for her. Lilting takes these two characters from extremely different cultures and shows their ever-evolving relationship, capturing the clashes and eventual harmony that forms around these two people. Lilting is a film that understands that most angst and aggression stems from emotional pain, showing how Junn's anger and jealousy towards Richard stems from her fear of aging and being forgotten by her son. It's a touching film about the most unlikely connections and how tragedy has a way of bringing people together.
Love of all things cinema brought me here.