Salena Chang provides a short film that proves a point can be made strongly, however subtle, in 11 minutes. The film follows an anxious-to-hasten-the-aging-process young girl, Theresa, on a road trip with her folks. It is evident that she has just begun her quest of adolescent self-discovery, as she, say, takes her time eating breakfast, or smokes a cigarette outside a restaurant to escape her parents' goofy public dancing.
Theresa is an incredibly likable lead ... this is not easy to achieve in an 11-minute time slot. You feel for her quest and you feel a strong want that she finds her way.
Another reason this movie is so great is that it can be labeled an Asian-American film, but the word Asian could realistically be taken from that label. What Chang presents with this film is a universal tale of adolescent awakening, and the Asian family presented breaks all stereotypes (for example: her parents aren't the root of Theresa's rebellion, like one would expect when thinking about typical Asian up-bringing). Theresa is in no way the Asian girl that mainstream American films often portray (the confident but vulnerable perfectionist, or the competitive, quiet genius).
Good piece all around! I especially liked the relaxed pacing.
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