Family Dramedy 'Dim Sum Funeral' Opens in L.A.

June 9, 2009

The cast includes Talia Shire (yes, Adrienne Balboa/Connie Corleone), Kelly Hu (X2), Russell Wong (Romeo Must Die), and Bai Ling (too many awful films to mention).

The LA Times did a profile on director Anna Chi earlier this week, focusing on her youth during China's Cultural Revolution and her service on Chairman Mao's propaganda team. She fell into filmmaking not by choice but rather because the Communist party randomly chose for her to study film editing.

She came to the US after being accepted into UCLA's film school and has since worked production on movies such as Nixon, Red Corner (so there's the Bai Ling connection...) and The Joy Luck Club. In 1998, Chi wrote and directed the independent film Blindness which also featured an Asian American family.

Indie filmmakers seem to really gravitate toward the family-gets-dysfunctional-at-a-funeral angle such as 2004's Eulogy with Zooey Deschanel and the British black comedy Death at a Funeral (2007) which is currently being remade in the States with an all-African American cast by master of darkness Neil LaBute. It's the perfect time for the big screen to see an Asian American family sharpen their claws over a casket, too. Can the film escape predictable death, funeral, and cultural movie clichés? Check it out for yourself and let us know.

Dim Sum Funeral opens this Friday, June 12 at the following theaters:

Laemmle Sunset 5 (West Hollywood)
8000 W Sunset Blvd LA, CA 90046

Laemmle Playhouse 7 (Pasadena)
673 Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91106



Sylvie Kim

contributing editor & blogger

Sylvie Kim is a contributing editor at Hyphen. She previously served as Hyphen's blog coeditor with erin Khue Ninh, film editor, and blog columnist.

She writes about gender, race, class and privilege in pop culture and media (fun fun fun!) at and at SF Weekly's The Exhibitionist blog. Her work has also appeared on Racialicious and Salon.



At least from the trailer, this movie meets all the requirements for a Hollywoodized "Asian American" flick.East Meets West cultural thematic. Check.Generational gap between Americanized children and "FOB" parents. Check.Cutesy linguistic reference to Asian Food (i.e. Dim Sum). Check.Highly attractive Asian American actors/actresses of somewhat dubious talent. Check.Indie filmmaking is oh so "indie"--or not.