Eye For Film >> Movies >> Drifting Flowers (2008) Film Review
Reviewed by: Caro Ness
Beautifully photographed, Drifting Flowers offers three thematically linked vignettes from award-winning filmmaker Zero Chou, which provide the viewer with an unorthodox glimpse of gender and sexuality in Taiwan. The opening tale is of two sisters who struggle to stay together because one is blind and gay and the other is young and impressionable, so society’s prejudices regarding her sister's sexual orientation and disability demand that they live separate lives.
May (Pao Chih-ying) is looked after by her blind sister Jing (Serena Fang), who is a singer, until she begins a relationship with her accordion player, the sweet-natured Diego. At this point May throws a tantrum, due in part to the fact that she, too, has a crush on Diego. The end result is that she goes to live with a couple who care for her, but who stipulate that the two sisters must not meet again until they are adult because they disapprove of Jing’s homosexuality. The wonderful discovery in this film is the marvellous performance by student Chao Yi-lan as the gentle tomboy, Diego, who appears in two of the film’s segments.
This segment is followed by two loosely connected snippets, one about Diego’s earlier sexual awakening with a showgirl, Lily (Yi-Ching-lu) and the other about Lily’s attempt at a reunion with her husband Yen (Sam Wang) - a fake marriage and a means to disguise the fact that both partners are gay.
Using a moving train as a metaphor for both a journey and for the female psyche, Zero Chou, reveals the meaning of love in various incarnations, as her characters navigate the pitfalls and demands of self-discovery, duty and loyalty. While the film, ultimately feels less than the sum of its parts - lacking dramatic tone and colour - it nevertheless offers beautiful moments of genuine sentiment which will satisfy its target audience.Reviewed on: 11 Oct 2009