Fans may be familiar with Alan Yang’s work on the hit TV series Parks and Recreation or Master of None, the latter of which won him an Emmy. But for his latest project Tigertail, Yang ventured back into the world of film.
On Thursday, Netflix dropped the official trailer for the Tigertail, which is written, produced and directed by Yang. The film is set to debut on the streaming service on April 10.
A drama that spans continents and decades from 1950s Taiwan to present-day New York City, Tigertail follows the life of an impoverished Taiwanese factory worker who leaves his homeland seeking new opportunities.
According to an official synopsis, the young Pin-Jui (Hong-Chi Lee) decides to leave his homeland and the woman he loves to go to America. But years of monotonous work and a loveless arranged marriage leave an older Pin-Jui (Tzi Ma) a shadow of his former free-spirited self.
Unable to sympathize with his daughter Angela (Christine Ko) and at risk of living out his retirement in solitude, he must reconnect with his past in order to finally build the life he once dreamed of having.
According to Vulture, Tigertail began as a 250-page script with multiple points of view before its focus was narrowed down to the central character, Pin-Jui.
In the course of editing, Yang said the movie told him what it wanted to be. And he went with it – even cutting out scenes of John Cho, who is an executive producer for the film.
Yang described the final product to Vulture as his “fever dream” of how he imagines his own father’s immigration story, fictionalized and “emphatically not” his father’s story in some ways. Still, Yang said working on the film affected their relationship, in addition to his own understanding of what it meant to be Taiwanese and Asian.
“Where I grew up, being an Asian person was something that was almost seen as an impediment when I was a kid,” Yang said. “When you’re a little kid, being set apart is not necessarily the thing you want. It’s not necessarily a strength. But when you get older, and especially when you’re lucky enough like I have been to be able to start creating your own movies and shows, the stuff that sets you apart is the stuff that’s gold.”
Tigertail also stars actors Hayden Szeto, James Saito and. Supporting cast members in the multi-generational story include Joan Chen, Yo-Hsing Fang, Kue-Mei Yang, Kunjue Li, and Fiona Fu.
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