At first sight, Paradise Girls by the Dutch-Chinese director Fow Pyng Hu looks as if it is made up of three separate short films. But in the end, the lives of the three young Asian women in the film come together in a subtle way. All three of them end up on a tropical island and all three have reached a turning point in their lives. The first story is short and humorous about the Japanese girl Miki, who has 23 reasons to put her Dutch holiday boyfriend Benny on a plane home by himself (reason 1: 'You are cheap. You will never call me from Amsterdam'; reason 23: 'I don't know where Holland is'). Yet she flies after him to convince him they should make a trip together. In a typical small Dutch town lives Pei-pei, the daughter of the Chinese snack bar owner Cheng, who is cut in the ear one day by a hairdresser. The Dutch speaking Pei-pei goes to sort things out. What follows is a personal and yet anthropological portrait of the Chinese Dutch community. Also in the third and most reticent story the catalyst is a man, or rather a boy. Lok-Lok, the three-year-old son of Shirley Wong from Hong Kong, has a serious heart condition and is in urgent need of an operation. Hu links three different Asian lives and cultures skillfully and honestly in a melodious, successful and visually powerful film. (SdH)

Filmmaker
Fow Pyng Hu
Premiere
European premiere
Country
Netherlands
Year
2004
Medium
35mm
Length
105’
Language
English, Dutch, Cantonese, Chinese, Japanese
Producer
IDTV FILM/Motel Films, Pandora Film - OUD, NTR
Sales
MDC International GmbH
Writer
Fow Pyng Hu
Cinematography
Benito Strangio
Production Design
Floris Vos
Sound Design
Marco Vermaas
Cast
Jo Koo, Kei Katayama, Jo Koo