Iris Prize Shorts 2021

JACKFRUIT

For 23-year-old Mít life between two worlds is nothing new, their gender and cultural identities constantly in flux. Though their mother wants them to get a degree and find a husband, Mit is in a relationship with Lara. And as Mit’s grandmother succumbs to dementia, so the sacred altar in her apartment becomes a vital connection to the family’s roots in Vietnam.

DIRECTOR: Thùy Trang Nguyễn
PRODUCER: ifs internationale filmschule köln
WRITER: Thùy Trang Nguyễn
Germany, 34 Minutes

Life between two worlds is nothing new for Mít. Like pushing a button they can change their identity. Changing into the traditional Vietnamese child or the self-determined, queer Berliner. In typical Vietnamese fashion, Mít is confronted about their love life during grandmother Roan’s weekly dinner table. Their mother Mai, on the other hand, wants a degree for her child rather than a decent husband. Either way – Mít doesn’t have a degree nor interest in a husband. Instead, they are seeing Lara. As their affair becomes more serious, Mít feels the need to stop hiding. But before Mít finds the courage to move out of their mother’s nest, grandmother Roan is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Roan has to move out of her small apartment. The ancestral altar, which has been in her care for over twenty years, can no longer be with her. Only „male“ family members are in line for succession. For Mít, a part of their familiar world threatens to collapse. When grandmother forgets, memories of the distant homeland Vietnam also fade. The altar is the final link to their ancestors and their Vietnamese roots. Mít takes on a journey to search for the connection between their two seemingly incompatible identities. Mít discovers that queerness will always be part of their history and within lies the strength to create their own future.

Nguyễn, Thùy Trang (* 1993 Berlin) is a Vietnamese-German filmmaker. She studied directing at internationale filmschule köln in 2017. The aim of her artistic work is to challenge normative viewing habits, to empower and to preserve cultural heritage.

Website: https://roanfilm.de/jackfruit/


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