United Kingdom | 2014 | 86 minutes | Hong Khaou

This delicate chamber piece addresses the universal language of grief with elegance, humor, and tenderness. Sixty-something Junn is visited by an interpreter who can help bridge the language gaps between herself and two men: a new suitor at the nursing home and the handsome “best friend” of her deceased son.

May 30, 2014
xHarvard Exit  
7:00 PM Date has passed

Director Hong Khaou scheduled to attend

May 31, 2014
SIFF Cinema Egyptian  
2:00 PM Date has passed

Director Hong Khaou scheduled to attend

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Sixty-something Junn (Pei-Pei Cheng) is in mourning for her son Kai. A first-generation immigrant, she is isolated from her London surroundings both physically—before his untimely death, Kai placed her in a nursing home—and linguistically, as she speaks little English. Although Junn finds some romantic solace in her droll nursing home co-resident Alan (Peter Bowles), their language barrier still hinders their time together. Enter young Richard (Ben Whishaw), Kai’s roommate and “best friend,” with a surprise: He has hired a translator, Vann (Naomi Christie), purporting to offer this service as a means for Junn and Alan to become better acquainted. In actuality, he hopes to earn Junn’s trust and reveal to her the true nature of his and Kai’s relationship, a secret her son kept hidden. A delicate chamber piece, Lilting addresses the universal language of grief with elegance, humor, and more than a few tears. Through Junn and Richard’s respective memories of Kai—played by Andrew Leung in visions and flashbacks—two people from different cultures seek to find a common ground under the soberest of circumstances.

Director Biography

Born in Cambodia, Hong Khaou grew up in Vietnam and is now practically a Londoner. Having completed his BA in Film & Video at Surrey Institute of Art of Design, Hong worked in theatres to develop his skills as a writer. This led him to participate on various writers' attachment programs with The Royal Court, Polka Theatre, Dende Collective and Yellow Earth Theatre.  His two short films, Summer (2007), and Spring (2011), were selected for Berlinale and Sundance film festivals respectively. 

Sponsored by Muckleshoot Tribe

Director: Hong Khaou
Principal Cast: Ben Whishaw, Pei-Pei Cheng, Andrew Leung
Country: United Kingdom
Year: 2014
Running Time: 86 minutes
Producer: Dominic Buchanan
Screenplay: Hong Khaou
Cinematographers: Ula Pontikos
Editors: Mark Towns
Music: Stuart Earl
Website: Official Film Website
Awards: Sundance Film Festival 2014 (Cinematography Award)
Filmography: Debut Feature Film
Language: English, Mandarin
HasSubTitles: Yes
Format: DCP
US Distributor: Strand Releasing
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