REVIEW: ‘Tigertail’ is a touching portrayal of the immigrant experience

first_imgAlthough the film is simple in its execution, Yang beautifully contrasts this visual style when the film shifts to the present to convey how separated Pin-Jui is from his family and friends. Everything around him is muted, from the beige walls in his house to the gray polos he wears. The lifelessness around him is a product of how distant he is as a person.  In Yang’s feature film debut, subtlety runs supreme. The quietly devastating flashback sequences and performances make “Tigertail” a touching tribute about the highs and the lows of the immigrant experience. As a child running around lush rice fields in Taiwan, Pin-Jui (Zhi-Hao Yang) is taught by his grandmother that “crying never solves anything.” All it shows is weakness, which isn’t a luxury his family can afford when they’re struggling to survive. Brief as the interaction may be, it establishes who Pin-Jui grows up to be: a detached man who never allows himself to be vulnerable.  (Photo courtesy of Netflix) This scene, as well as many others, showcases Yang’s restraint in making the film, forgoing overdramatized scenes for quiet, simple sequences between characters. Although the decision to move is a painful one to make, for an immigrant like Pin-Jui, it’s a necessary choice that must be made for the chance at a better life. The semi-autobiographical tale of writer-director Alan Yang’s father, “Tigertail” is an intimate, restrained portrayal of the immigrant experience — how one’s decision to leave their native home is often preceded with hope but followed with regret over what was left behind.  Pin-Jui sees the physical strain that the factory job is taking on his mother and ultimately decides to leave Taiwan and move to the United States. The only way he could possibly move, however, is by agreeing to marry his boss’s daughter Zhenzhen (Kunjue Li), leaving his true love behind without any notice.  Though the characters live a life of poverty and work at a factory with poor labor conditions, the film portrays life in Taiwan as vibrant and colorful. Shots overlayed with grain, similar to the 35mm effect, make the recounts of the past feel like a memory, a recollection of a difficult upbringing. Yet, in hindsight, it was a time in his life that produced the most joyful moments. The film cuts back and forth between Pin-Jui’s past and the present where, as a rebellious young man (Hong-Chi Lee) in Taiwan, he dreams of life in the United States. Decades later, as a retiree in New York, Pin-Jui (Tzi Ma) struggles to connect with his daughter Angela (Christine Ko), resulting in the two often sitting in silence. All he wants is to move to the United States, not only to provide for his mother Minghua (Yang Kuei-Mei) but to be with his childhood sweetheart Yuan (Yo-Hsing Fang), the only person who makes him feel less lonely in this world.  Pin-Jui’s departure is not just him leaving his mother or his romantic partner, it’s him leaving Taiwan — the only home he’s ever known. Instead of a cathartic moment where mother and son emotionally embrace, unsure if they’ll ever see one another again, they simply stare at each other and go their separate ways.  The relationship between Pin-Jui and his wife, or the lack thereof, mirrors the relationship he has with his daughter later on in life. Both are hindered by his inability to express emotion. Angela wishes her father would express his care for her, but all he does is stare at her in confusion. Zhenzhen wishes her husband would put as much effort into their marriage as he does into his work. For Pin-Jui and Zhenzhen, the American dream turns out to not be what they expected. Instead, it’s a dirty studio apartment and not knowing anyone except for one another. They only have each other for support, but even then, they don’t truly know each other.  The two don’t have anything in common; nothing connects them as husband and wife. When Pin-Jui buys a piano with the intention of learning together, there’s a fleeting hope that they’ll finally connect in something. The realities of work and paying bills squander their chance at bonding; the piano is symbolically disregarded, piled under a stack of newspapers.  Yang’s understanding of this predicament is only bolstered through the silence that runs through the film, creating instances of tenderness. The more time passes and the more silence fills the room, Yang successfully brings feelings of woe to the cinematic space. Despite this, never does the film stray toward excessive pessimism. There’s a fine balance: The audience witnesses a bittersweet feeling of love and hope that never materializes.  Yang’s loose interpretation of his father’s life and relationships with his wife and daughter neither attempts to praise nor condemn him. “Tigertail” simply depicts a man who’s been taught to block out any emotion he may have, to put his head down and continue to work. Tragically, the result of his resilience is a community of loved ones who hardly know him. last_img read more

Young Athletes from Sarajevo won 14 Medals

first_img100 m: Ajla Reizbegović (Sarajevo) 12,78400 m: Aleksandra Roljić (Banja Luka) 59,75800 m: Katarina Lemez  (Slavija) 2:20,841500 m: Valentina Samardžić  (Prnjavor) 5:03,783000 m: Anja Trebovac (Prijedor) 10:47,97100 m hurdles: Anja Erceg (Borac) 14,722000 m: Teodora Pjević (Prijedor) 7:55,83Race walk 3000 m: Adisa Belkić (Sloboda) 19:19,25Long jump: Marija Ivanković (Brotnjo) 5,25High jump: Lamija Pašalić (Zenica) 170Triple jump: Marija Ivanković (Brotnjo) 11,98Shot put: Mediha Salkić (Doboj Istok) 13,90Discus: Mediha Salkić (Doboj Istok) 41,72Hammer throw: Marina Anđelić (Leotar) 35,17Javelin: Milica Jović  (Glasinac) 36,404×100 m: AC Glasinac 53,37 (Source: novovrijeme.ba) Younger juniors (male): The members of the Athletic Club Sarajevo were the most successful participants of B&H Championships for the younger juniors, which was held in Sokolac, and organized by AC Glasinac.Young male and female athletes of Sarajevo won 14 medals, from which five were gold, five bronze and four silver medals.The second place was taken by AC Steel while the AC Glasinac took the third place.More than 200 athletes from 20 clubs participated on this championships.Champions of B&H by disciplines:center_img 100 m: Ervin Rahmanović (Sloboda) 11,44400 m: Nikola Jaćimović (Banja Luka) 51,74800 m: Bojan Gajić (Banja Luka) 2:06,351500 m: Nikola Petrović (Prnjavor) 4:46,443000 m: Adin Čajić (Prnjavor) 9:50,76110 m hurdles: Ervin Rahmanović (Sloboda) 16,852000 m:  Belmin Mrkanović (DIS) 6:06,32Long jump: Ismar Pašanbegović (Zenica) 5,96High jump: Maid Redžić (Zenica) 1.65Triple jump: Ismar Pašanbegović (Zenica) 11,88Shot put: Jasmin Mujezin (Sarajevo) 18,05Discus: Nermin Štitkovac (Sarajevo) 44,76Hammer throw: Jasmin Mujezin (Sarajevo) 33,92Javelin: Aleksandar Lučić (Glasinac) 55,304×100 m: AC Sarajevo 45,22 Younger juniors (female):last_img read more

Fearsome Final Foursome headed to North Texas

first_imgKentucky’s Aaron Harrison and his teammates hold up their trophy after an NCAA Midwest Regional final college basketball tournament game against Michigan Sunday, March 30, 2014, in Indianapolis. Kentucky won 75-72 to advance to the Final Four. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)Florida had not been to the Final Four since all those future first-round draft picks were in Gainesville. Wisconsin and coach Bo Ryan had never been.Connecticut wasn’t allowed to play in the NCAA tournament a year ago, and Kentucky supposedly had no shot at getting to North Texas after a midseason swoon.Unlike the past few years, there will be no upstarts or Cinderella in the Final Four.These are the big boys all right, but each one has a big chip on their shoulders.“In down times, what you do is you bond together as brothers,” UConn coach Kevin Ollie said. “And you hold that fist up.”Billy Donovan won a pair of national titles at Florida with Joakim Noah, Corey Brewer and Al Horford, all top-10 NBA picks in the 2007 NBA draft. After that second title, he accepted the head coaching job with the NBA’s Orlando Magic, then changed his mind after the introductory news conference.Donovan continued to produce winning teams in Gainesville, but the biggest wins eluded the Gators. They lost in the regional final each of the past three seasons.That changed when the ferocious Gators (36-2) rode their chomping defense through a 30-game winning streak capped by Saturday’s 62-52 win over bracket darling Dayton.“We didn’t start off the exact way that we should have, but coach Donovan continued to remind us and humble us and help us see that, in order to get where we want to get to, the end goal, we have to continue to chase greatness every single day and stay in the moment,” Florida forward Patric Young said.To win another title, the Gators will have to go through the last two teams to beat them this season (UConn and Wisconsin) or their biggest SEC rival (Kentucky).The Huskies won the 2011 national title with coach Jim Calhoun and one-man show Kemba Walker.Things went sour in Storrs after that. Calhoun retired in 2012 and UConn was barred from the NCAA tournament last season for failing to meet the NCAA’s academic progress measure.UConn’s upperclassmen decided to stick it out instead of transferring and put together another magical bracket run behind another do-it-all-player, former Walker understudy Shabazz Napier. With their 60-54 win over Michigan State on Sunday, the Huskies (30-8) became the first No. 7 seed to reach the Final Four since the tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985.UConn beat Florida 65-64 way back on Dec. 2, the Gators’ last loss this season.“We play a great Florida team and we’re going to be well prepared, because I know about these guys’ heart, and that’s what got us through,” Ollie said.Then there’s Bo.Wisconsin’s tell-it-like-it-is coach had been a regular at the Final Four, taking his father, Butch, to every one since 1976 as a birthday gift.Bo had a hard time getting there with his team, though, winning over 700 games, playing in the NCAA tournament 13 straight years and reaching the Sweet 16 six times — and not one trip to the Final Four.Bo and the Badgers (30-7) get their chance now after pulling out an emotional 64-63 win over top-seeded Arizona in the West Regional final on Saturday, which would have been Butch Ryan’s 90th birthday.“I can remember some of the great teams that he had of kids and their first championships and how they acted and just the joy,” Ryan said. “These guys have had some others, but that’s all I wanted to see.”Rounding out this foursome could be the most fearsome bunch of the bracket.Kentucky won the 2012 national championship behind coach John Calipari’s get-the-best-players-no-matter-how-long-they-stay philosophy. Cal brought in another heralded group of one-and-doners and they were touted as the team to beat, ranked No. 1 in the preseason.After a string of losses, including three in five games, the kid Cats were out of the polls and supposedly out of contention.Well, look at them now.Showcasing their talent and depth, the Wildcats (28-10) are playing with a cohesiveness and confidence that wasn’t there earlier in the season, racing into the Final Four after pulling out a last-second victory over Michigan.“I can’t believe it; we went through so much,” said Kentucky’s Aaron Harrison, who hit a 3-pointer with 2.3 seconds left in the 75-72 win over the Wolverines. “We went through a lot of ups and downs, and we’re blessed to be going to the Final Four.”They are not alone.last_img read more