ZINNIA FLOWER (百曰告别) – Chicago Premiere
Directed by: Tom Lin Shu-yu (林書宇) from Taiwan
Starring: Karena Lam Ka-yan, and Stone.
Taiwan, 2015, 96 min, Mandarin w/English subtitles, DCP
Film Source: Ablaze Image Ltd.
Wednesday, March 16, 7:30 PM at AMC River East 21
Q/A with Director Tom Lin Shu-yu in person.
ZINNIA FLOWER is inspired in part by the untimely death of director Tom Lin’s wife in 2012. The film opens to the aftermath of a multiple-car collision in Taipei in which Wei (Stone – lead guitarist of pop-rock band Mayday in Taiwan) has lost his pregnant wife and Ming (Karena Lam Ka-yan, and winner of Golden Horse Best Leading Actress Award for this role) has lost her finance. Adopting the 100-day timeline of a Buddhist mourning ritual, this intimate dual portrait alternates between the surviving spouses as they go on their own paths in search of closure.
They say that time heals all wounds, but I did not want to wait. I wanted to confront my grief for the death of my wife in the form of filmmaking. This film is my own catharsis; through the lives and choices of two characters in mourning, I wanted to honestly show the pain, loneliness and hardship of dealing with grief. With this film, I wanted to search for an answer as much as I wanted to give one. Yet through the process of making this film, I came to realize that there is no answer, and that perhaps the closest thing to an answer is the search itself. No matter how we choose to face death, the pain and heartache will always be there. All we can do is keep going and believe that the love that has become our bondage will one day become our strength to go on. So with this film, all I can hope for is that it can be a gentle voice, whispering to us that smallest comfort, telling us “I understand”.