NAFF 2010|The Perfect Gift for Flora

In support of Arts in Vancouver,  the Vancouver Chinese Instrumental Music Society has donated music to the production of The Perfect Gift for Flora by the Vancouver Film School Writing Department.  A beautiful story directed by Olesia Shewchuk, this film will be screening at the New Asia Film Festival on May 29, 2010 at 1:00pm.

tpgff_insert.jpg

Canada, 2010, 7 min

When a mother and father promise their daughter anything that she wants for her birthday, things get a little complicated in their attempt to fulfil her request. scriptwriter Anna Wang and director Olesia Shewchuk tell a comical yet striking story, grappling with issues like parental neglect, racism, culture, and misinterpretation.

Flora’s one request is for her parents to get her a sister, but, when she is unhappy with all of the skin colours of the little girls that her parents suggest, they start to panic. They can’t believe that their daughter could be racist, and are baffled that she doesn’t even want a sister of her own colour. This discussion of colour recalls the NFB film The Colour of Beauty, particularly when Flora says that some of the skin colours are “ugly”. It’s hard to know what to make of this little girl at first, but everything becomes more clear near the end of the film.

I was really frustrated by this story because the solution that Flora really desired was obvious, and yet her parents never realized what she needed the most. Nothing really changed. And yet, while this was super frustrating, it was also poetic in a way. The parents were totally unaware of the fact that they had become such a fragmented family.

Schema Magazine’s coverage of NAFF 2010 is sponsored by the Toronto Reel Asian Film Festiva