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Almen Pui-Ha Wong,
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Though director Kenneth Bi's _Rice Rhapsody_ (2004) generates much interest primarily of its homosexuality theme (that troubled the Singapore Board of Film Censorship inasmuch as its month-long deliberation for the film's wide release in the city state in which the film is set and made), it explores at its core generational conflict; specifically, how a single parent's inability to adapt to modern circumstances leads to disillusionment and more misunderstanding. So it'd be misleading to categorize this as a "Gay" film, per se.
The plot is set in contemporary Singapore's Chinatown. Sylvia Chang, wonderful and enarmoured with supposed Singlish, plays a single mother (Jen) struggling with the uncertainty surrounding the sexual orientation of her third son, Leo (played by a certain delectable newcomer, Tan LePham), when his two elder siblings are both out and proud, much to her dismay, bringing issues of same-sex marriage and their boy-friends back to dinner table discussion. The lives of the family are going to be changed with the arrival of a French foreign exchange student, Sabine, played by a cooky Mélanie Laurent, who has a thing or two to show about finding common grounds, and knowing what's truly important in life.
The issue of homosexuality isn't a "modern" circumstance, of course. Its open acceptance (or tolerance) and embraced and head-on examination as an "idea", however, is, especially in this city-state notorious for its anti-gay "lifestyles" stance. So even if the movie isn't without its flaw, it's still ultimately uplifting, and a welcome addition to a growing list of movies purport to examine social, cultural and political aspects of the city-state, from "12 Storeys" to "Eating Air" to "Chicken Rice War".
Little known facts: Director Kenneth Bi is the son of Ivy Ling (Ling Bo) who is a mega star in Shaw's Huang Mei Diao era. She has a cameo appearance in this film.
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