China Doll

MAY 12, 2022
USA | 15 minutes | 2020

Drama short film directed by Natchanon Vana
Starring Samantha Xu, Melody Lam

China Doll

Two sisters, Shu and Yin return to their father’s apartment in New York after the funeral of their father. They both need to decide about the apartment as Yin is living in San Francisco and Shu is moving to Germany. As they spend more time together, the moments reveal that each one of them has their own expression of grief.

China Doll, directed by Natchanon Vana, is a quiet and emotional look at how two sisters deal with grief, trauma, and letting go. Its simplicities mask emotional complexities that everyone deals with in their own unique way.

Taking place in the setting of an apartment in New York, the home belonged to the late father of Shu (Samantha Xu) and Yin (Melody Lam). After attending his funeral, the two sisters must figure out what they’re going to do with the place as Yin lives in San Francisco and Shu is moving to Germany. The apartment is not without its own history and it brings back memories for both women the more time they spend there, each grappling with their own trauma and grief.

The film is beautifully shot and edited, led by two incredible performances. China Doll gives us a tender and quietly powerful portrait of two sisters, unspoken feelings, and learning how to move on and let go.

China Doll is one of the many great projects shared with CineAsian Films through our submissions process. If you’d like to join them, submit your project.


Director, Writer: Natchanon Vana
Producers: Felipe Mitsui Gomez, Nittakarn Kaewpiyasawad
Cinematographer: Natdanai Naksuwan
Editor: Asamaporn Samakphan
Composer: Jay Vatanakuljaras
Also featuring: Violet Shu

In Mandarin and English.

More from Natchanon Vana: Upside, Down

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