FILM REVIEW: Feathered Dream 羽
A Taiwanese husband and a Vietnamese wife; a dream about three goose eggs. According to a Vietnamese tradition, a pregnant woman has to eat three goose eggs before she gives birth, to ensure that her baby will grow healthy and smart. A husband wandering around Taiwan, for his wife and their baby, in search of three rare goose eggs.
Director: Kek-Huat Lau
Cast: Chang Wei Loy, Vera Chen
Language: Taiwanese, Vietnamese
Review by Jean Wong
It may take awhile for the viewer to understand what is happening, as Feathered Dream (2017) throws you into the first scene with no context. In fact, the film comprises of only 3 scenes. The only way to piece a story together is from the dialogue scattered across the screen. While the characters’ voices can be clearly heard, the characters themselves are never directly introduced to us — at least not by face. This is merely one of many unconventional choices that Lau Kek-Huat chooses to take.
Another stylistic choice that jumps out at the viewer is the wide angle shots that make up the film, which gives it a surreal look. The first scene takes place in a market, and although we hear the protagonists’ voices, we don’t see them. The bustling noises of the market contrasts with the serenity of the characters’ speeches. It seems to reflect their internal dialogue, as opposed to the husband’s frantic search for 3 goose eggs in reality.
The next scene was a lot more peaceful compared to the commotion of the market. This time, the dialogue on the screen seems to correspond to each other. The couple are now discussing about their unborn child and the future they see for them. This perhaps reflects the husband’s now tranquil state of mind in spending time with his wife, as opposed to him scurrying all around looking for the goose eggs.
The shift from internal to external dialogue was a beautifully executed move. We first get a taste of the couple’s own joy in finding out that the wife is pregnant. Through the conversation that the couple has with one another, we experience their overwhelming love for each other and the family that they are preparing to raise. Feathered Dream teaches us the beauty of family and love and the strength that can come from it.
About Kaohsiung Shorts
高雄拍 (Kaohsiung Shorts) aims to make Kaohsiung the Taiwanese short film base, to discover and showcase new short films that break the norms, boundaries and stereotypes through the use of media. Started in 2012 by the Kaohsiung Film Archive, Kaohsiung Shorts is a short film grant that aims to encourage film talents to be based in Kaohsiung and be inspired by the city. Films created under this programme will be having their Taiwan premiere during the Kaohsiung International Film Festival. Since 2015, short films created under the Kaohsiung Shorts have been showcased in other countries such as Hong Kong, France, Japan, Korea and Vietnam.
Image credit: KFF