Tigertail Parent Guide
Streaming on Netflix: A thoughtful movie that will interest those looking for character dramas with no need for speed.
Parent Movie Review
Pin-Jui (Hong-Chi Lee, played in older age by Tzi Ma) dreams of leaving Taiwan and going to America. Growing up working, either on his grandmother’s rice farm or in a factory with his mother (Yang Kuei-mei), Pin-Jui wants a better life. His opportunity to go to the United States finally comes, but with a terrible choice: he would have to abandon Yuan (Yo-Hsing Fang and Joan Chen), the young woman he loves, and marry Zhenzhen (Kunjue Li and Fiona Fu), whose father will pay for the move. Years later, with his mother dead and his family crumbling, Pin-Jui starts to realize the magnitude of his decisions…
These intergenerational dramas present an interesting perspective on the long-term effects of early life choices. Pin-Jui’s years of emotional repression and self-isolation create problems that ricochet around his life, destabilizing every relationship he’s ever had. I don’t think people, especially in highly individualistic Western societies, really think about the effects our choices have on future generations. Movies like this make those echoes far more apparent.
But this isn’t a movie for everyone. The long, slow drama means that there are a lot of shots of characters sitting silently while somber music plays. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but it makes for a very sedate viewing experience. Add to that the fact that much of the movie is in Mandarin or Taiwanese (with English subtitles) and this isn’t a movie for those seeking fast-paced action and adventure. Again, that’s not a bad thing, but it is something to be aware of before you commit an hour and a half to the movie. This is thoughtful and complex and unlikely to leave you with a nice warm feeling.
On the other hand, there are almost no content concerns. Beyond the subject matter being a little dry for kids, there isn’t really anything else keeping this from being perfectly suitable for family viewing. Compare this to something like Invisible Life, which is tonally quite similar in its focus on regret and family, but which is completely inappropriate for almost everyone. As far as thoughtful drama goes, this is about as family-friendly as it gets. You know, except for the characters, who keep managing to alienate their loved ones. Definitely less family-friendly for them.Directed by Alan Yang. Starring Tzi Ma, Christine Ko, Hong-Chi Lee. Running time: 91 minutes. Theatrical release April 10, 2020. Updated April 10, 2020
Watch the trailer for Tigertail
Rating & Content Info
Why is Tigertail rated PG? Tigertail is rated PG by the MPAA for some thematic elements, language, smoking and brief sensuality
Sexual Content: A couple are shown kissing passionately. A young woman is shown with her shirt open, but with no nudity.
Profanity: There are two uses of scatological profanity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Background characters are shown drinking. Some individuals are shown smoking cigarettes.is thoughtful and complex, and unlikely to leave you with a nice warm feeling.
Page last updated April 10, 2020
Tigertail Parents' Guide
Pin-Jui has repressed his emotions all his life, and now struggles with the consequences. What are some of those immediate consequences? How has his emotional state affected those around him? What do you think is responsible for that repression?
Taiwan occupies a very difficult political space in its relationship with China. For more about the history, check these links:
BBC News: What’s behind the China-Taiwan divide?
Council on Foreign Relations: China-Taiwan Relations
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