CHN | 22 minutes | 2019
Documentary short film by Zheyu Liang
Featuring Houquan Luo, Shaofen Xie
Watch the Trailer
Chinese title: 他乡
What does it feel like to be a stranger in a country that you’ve lived in for twenty years? Two rootless and tenacious Chinese immigrants, Quan and Fen, try to find a home in each other on foreign soil.
Three years ago, as a 22-year-old Chinese international student, I flew across the Pacific Ocean and came to Los Angeles for my UCLA grad film school. In a new environment, when different culture and information suddenly overwhelmed me in a foreign language, excitement, curiosity, confusion, loneliness and homesickness, all kinds of complex feelings came in waves.
I couldn’t help but wonder if these complex emotions were also lingering on other Chinese immigrants’ minds. What are their stories? How did they go through these? A middle-age Chinese immigrant couple – Quan and Fen invited me to their life by experiencing all their intimate, touching, vulnerable and heartbroken moments.
Quan and Fen came to America 20 years ago and tried to find a home in each other on this alien soil. Lying somewhere between dream and nightmare, they faced a tenuous existence in a land that never quite felt like home. Struggling with the monotony of life on alien soil, they found themselves caught between a rock and a hard place in the so-called land of the free.
What appealed and touched me most were their middle-late age love relationship and how they held each other’s hands to fight against the loneliness and alienation. Not like young couples, this almost 50-year-old couple, who have already experienced ups and downs in their lives. Their love is not only about the passion but more about building a home.
I hope this intimate and honest observational film can evoke the deep-felt emotions and universal feelings for viewers and show what Chinese immigrants really face and struggle when they move to a new country. The ordinary couple’s extraordinary story is able to serve as a meditation and comfort for more immigrants who have similar experience. Also, it shows people the authentic ordinary immigrants’ lives in America instead of some of the exaggeratedly wealthy immigrants portrayed by the medias.
The film is currently in the festival circuit.
Transplant is one of the many great projects shared with CineAsian Films through our submissions process. If you’d like to join them, submit your film.
Director/Producer/Editor/Cinematographer: Zheyu Liang
Score: Moni Jasmine Guo