87 minutes – Drama Festival release date: September 7, 1994 (TIFF) Release date: July 28, 1995 Canadian distributor: Fine Line Features
Sandra Oh plays Jade Li, a 22-year-old aspiring actress who was born in Hong Kong but raised in Vancouver, where her parents try to maintain Chinese traditions in the North American melting pot. Stephen Chang plays her too strict father and Alannah Ong, her dutiful mother. Her sweet younger sister, Pearl is played by Frances You. Jade lives at home but wants to move out to pursue her career and independence, but is prevented by the memory of her brother, Winston, who was disowned for a similar act. Her parents want her to marry a Chinese lawyer (who turns out to be gay), while her relationship with Mark (Callum Keith Rennie), a white university student, deepens. Naturally, something must give sooner or later, and the facade of the perfect Chinese daughter soon begins to crumble. Director Mina Shum’s debut feature film skillfully examines the struggles of the young woman as she attempts to balance her individuality and freedom with her culture and her family’s rigid demands.
Sandra Oh won a Genie Award for best actress, and the film won another for best editing. The title comes from an English translation of the traditional Chinese symbol signifying a wedding and is always painted in red.
Candice Dickens Jill Haras François Milly (Set decoration)
Sandra Oh Stephen Chang Alannah Ong Donald Fong Frances You Callum Keith Rennie Claudette Carracedo Johnny Mah Greg Chan Estelle Coppens Lesley Ewen Nathan Fong Dennis Foon Kevin Kelly Gene Kiniski Rose Lam Waddell Tosca Chin Wah Leong Mimi Mok Laara Ong Tony Seaver Wong Shuck Mina Shum So Yee Shum May Tam
Jade Li Dad Li Mom Li Ah Hong Pearl Li Mark Lisa Chan Andrew Chau Uncle Bing Lead Woman in Scene with Jade Carmen the Casting Director Dr. Ming Chu / Bartender Director Lead Man in Scene with Jade Man at Bus Stop Producer Linda Taylor Wong Mrs. Mar Selina No-No! Club Bouncer See-Fu Geomancer Janet Eng Auntie Bing Grandmother