Alan Yang has a talent for making us cry over intergenerational immigrant stories. The Master of None co-creator co-wrote with Aziz Ansari the Netflix series’ acclaimed episode “Parents,” which sped through the entire lives of two pairs of immigrant parents, capturing their small joys and big sacrifices they made for the American dream. Now Yang is making his feature directorial debut with Tigertail, which stars Tzi Ma as a fictionalized version of Yang’s own father as he charts a young Taiwanese factory worker’s journey to America to old age, as he grapples with his many regrets. Watch the Tigertail trailer below.
Tzi Ma is becoming the star of every immigrant drama that will probably make you cry. The Farewell and Mulan star plays Pin-Jui in Tigertail, a multigenerational drama that Yang describes as a “fever dream” of his own father’s life. Hong-Chi Lee plays Pin-Jui as a young Taiwanese factory worker who decides to leave his life and his love behind for America, only to discover that it’s not the land of opportunity he imagined it to be. The years of a loveless marriage lead Pin-Jui to reconnect with his past, and in the process, try to reconnect with his daughter (Christine Ko).
Dreamlike and gorgeously shot (with a wonderful film grain that distinguishes the past scenes from the present), Tigertail looks like a marriage between the tearful generational strife of The Farewell and the tragic romance of Cold War, with its central star-crossed lovers. Either way, it looks like a moving and poignant film that could earn some awards buzz for Yang, who writes, produces, and directs the film, as well as his stars. Tigertail also stars Hayden Szeto, Yo-Hsing Fang, Kunjue Li, Fiona Fu, James Saito, and Joan Chen.
Here is the synopsis for Tigertail:
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. Spanning continents and decades, from 1950s Taiwan to present-day New York City, Tigertail is written and directed by Emmy winner Alan Yang and features a supporting cast including Joan Chen, Yo-Hsing Fang, Kuei-Mei Yang, Kunjue Li, and Fiona Fu.
Tigertail debuts on Netflix on April 10, 2020.
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