2013, Singapore, 96’, Color, Mandarin-Tagalog
Director: Anthony Chen
Cast: Koh Jia Ler, Angeli Bayani, Tian Wen Chen, Yann Yann Yeo
2013 Cannes Film Festival Golden Camera Award
An impressive family drama on Far Asian socio-economic realities.
Set in Singapore during the 1997 Asian financial crisis, Ilo Ilo chronicles the day-to-day drama of the Lim family-troublesome grade-schooler Jiale and his overstressed parents, Heck and Leng. Comfortably middleclass and with another baby on the way, they hire Teresa, a Filipino immigrant, as a live-in maid and nanny. An outsider in both the family and Singapore itself, Teresa initially struggles to manage Jiale’s antics and find her footing in her new community. The two eventually form a unique bond, but just as Teresa becomes an unspoken part of the family, unforeseen circumstances in an uncertain economy will challenge the new normal yet again.