In this multi-generational drama, a Taiwanese factory worker leaves his homeland to seek opportunity in America, where he struggles to find connection while balancing family and newfound responsibilities.


Alan Yang


Alan Yang





Cast overview, first billed only:
Tzi Ma ... Grover
Christine Ko ... Angela
Hong-Chi Lee ... Young Grover
Queenie Yu-Hsin Fang ... Young Yuan (as Yo-Hsing Fang)
Fiona Fu ... Zhenzhen
Joan Chen ... Yuan
Kuei-Mei Yang ... Minghua (as Yang Kuei-Mei)
James Saito ... Hank
Hayden Szeto ... Eric
Cindera Che ... Peijing
Muyi Chen ... Chih-Hao (as Mu-Yi Chen)
Zhi-Hao Yang Zhi-Hao Yang ... Child Grover
Hai-Yin Tsai Hai-Yin Tsai ... Child Yuan
Lynn Masako Cheng ... Child Angela (as Lynn Cheng)
Li Li Pang Li Li Pang ... Yunxia

The 'Tigertail' Cast Name Their Asian Cinema Picks

Tigertail writer/director Alan Yang is joined by stars Tzi Ma and Christine Ko to name some of their favorite films for you to check out in Asian Cinema.

Watch the video



In this poignant multi-generational drama, Pin-Jui (Hong-Chi Lee) is a free-spirited yet impoverished young Taiwanese factory worker, who makes the difficult decision to leave his homeland - and the woman he loves - behind in order to seek better opportunities in America. But years of monotonous work and an arranged marriage devoid of love or compassion leave an older Pin-Jui (Tzi Ma) a shadow of his former self. Unable to sympathize with his daughter Angela (Christine Ko) and at risk of living out his retirement in solitude, Pin-Jui must reconnect with his past in order to finally build the life he once dreamed of having. Written by Netflix

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

factory | See All (1) »



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some thematic elements, language, smoking and brief sensuality | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


All of the flashback scenes were shot on 16mm film while all the present day scenes were shot on digital. See more »

User Reviews

A simple story to put social distancing in its right place, not in a pandemi, but in humanity.
26 April 2020 | by jdesandoSee all my reviews

Writer-director Alan Yang has absorbed the full measure of auteur Wong Kar Wai, whose lovingly intimate In the Mood for Love is my litmus test for modern Asian cinema at its best. Although Netflix's Tigertail may be more realistic than Mood, it captures a middle-aged Ping Jui (Tzi Ma) romanticizing his past as he struggles to connect with his estranged daughter, Angela (Christine Ko) in the present.

Do not look to this drama for an eye-popping American love story, for it is Asian in its restraint and its lyrical understatement. After facing deep disappointment as an immigrant to America with his arranged wife, handsome Ping adjusts to the realities of life and the boredom of his marriage.

Salving his despair are the images of his former love, Yuan (Joan Chen), whom he left to go to America on his factory boss's dime and with the boss's daughter as bride. Although American romances often end with a pleasant alignment, Yang does not indulge us on such fantasies.

Tigertail smacks us with the vagaries of immigration, not the thorny process the news underlines today but rather the disappointment an immigrant might experience as he watches his American dream collapse under the weight of a reality check that includes substandard housing and menial jobs.

The latter part of Tigertail is about the glacial change that comes to Ping after his mom dies, his wife leaves him, and he must try to connect with Angela, unaccustomed as he is to saying anything much of anything to her. His Asian paternalism and cold restraint make communication challenging.

The painful reunion is the strength of the film: Most of us have at least one family member we should reach out to, but we may lack the willingness or interpersonal skills. Yet, those skills can come slowly but surely as we face them to overcome them.

Tigertail is a small drama filled with humanity, superior acting, and enviable cinematography. John Ford would be happy to see how Yang honors him with a final shot that recalls the famous frame shot in The Searchers. Tzi is no John Wayne, but they share characters with a remoteness that plagues cultures and families for all times.

As we struggle with the pandemic's demand for social distancing, Tigertail shows the effects of it in everyday real life.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 41 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.


Official Sites:

Official site




English | Min Nan | Mandarin

Release Date:

10 April 2020 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Tigertail See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

MACRO, Netflix See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed