‘Tigertail’ Director Alan Yang on the Unspoken Stories Behind Asian Parents’ Journey to America
Perhaps the most poignant dynamic in the upcoming Netflix film Tigertail is the arranged marriage between impoverished Taiwanese factory worker Pin-Jui and Zhenzhen, his factory boss’ daughter.
Depictions of such relationships often remain archaic: the husband an oppressive, dominating figure, the wife a subservient, quiet caregiver. But writer and director Alan Yang told NBC News in a phone interview from his Los Angeles home that he sought to complicate the concept of the arranged marriage by giving the spouses more equal weight in the storyline and drawing from his observations of his own mother.
“My goal in creating any show or movie is really to just be as empathetic as possible to every character and treat every character as if they’re the main character of the movie,” Yang said. “I think one of the reasons I was able to do that in this movie is because in some ways that represents my mom,” he said of Zhenzhen.
Image credit: Tigertail film still