In an earlier incarnation, Chi was a poster child for the Chinese Cultural Revolution, when her letter to her father, written as a child, urged her dad to listen to Chairman Mao and the Party. She became known as Yong Hong ("Forever Red").
Filmed in Surrey, British Columbia, the film uses the occasion of the Chinese funeral of the family matriarch to bring a dysfunctional family together, sparking surprising conversation and new understandings -- as well as an unexpected ending.
The daughters in the family give strong roles, including one who plays a lesbian and brings along her lover to the remembrance ceremonies, that lasts seven days. The sole son, played by longtime Chinese American actor Russell Wong, is a philandering doctor. Wong shows a special vulnerability in this role. A cute monk also becomes a sperm donor, in the process giving more than just sperm.
Interview with Jonathan W. Hickman: www.einsiders.com/features/columns/show_article.php?article=433
Interview on what brought the director from China: www.einsiders.com/features/interviews/annachi.php
Article in Los Angeles Times: http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/la-ca-chi7-2009jun07,0,6255908.story.