Film Review: Bitter Melon (2018) by H.P. Mendoza

“Why don’t we kill Troy?”

“Oh Declan, that’s sick […] How would we do it?”

Perhaps it is in the very definition of family reunions, this blend of fun moments, clumsiness, awkwardness and the inescapable brooding of conflicts. As words are spoken and the first meals and drinks are served, there may be a feeling of tentative unease in the air, especially if a family’s past has not been without conflict. But then again, there just may be no family without a conflict or two hanging in the air once its members have gathered.

Maybe it is this kind of atmosphere which attracted director H.P. Mendoza to the subject. For his feature debut “Bitter Melon” the Filipino-American filmmaker relied upon his experiences with his own family, especially his coming-out as a gay man in front of them. In his statement included in the press kit for the film,
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