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Dim Sum (2002)


Warning: screenonline full synopses contain 'spoilers' which give away key plot points. Don't read on if you don't want to know the ending!

Wah So, Marietta Wong and Linda Ka talk about the purpose of the documentary while making dim sum dumplings for Marietta's Chinese grocery store. The filmmaker, Jane Wong, daughter of Marietta, asks questions in English which Marietta translates into Cantonese for Wah So and Linda. The three older women discuss their childhoods, and how they came to settle in England.

As Wah So goes shopping in the city of Liverpool she talks of the problems she encountered when moving to Britain. She compares herself to a blind, deaf and speechless person because she could not read, understand or speak English.

At the grocery store, Marietta and Linda discuss their life and the sacrifices they made to live in England. They read each other's palms and assess the future. Wah So rejoins the group as they discuss their families and the Chinese tradition of having children. Wah So says that marriage and children were something she did out of duty and to please her ancestors.

Back at the Wong household the filmmaker has a heart-to-heart with her mother. Marietta feels she sacrificed her career as a nurse to marry and start the family business. In Wah So's flat she speaks about her unhappiness in marriage, her regrets and the things she would do differently if she had the chance to start again.

Linda and a friend go shopping at a garden centre before attending English lessons. She relates that she is bringing up her family on her own because her husband is in prison. At tea she tells her children what she has learnt that day.

As head of their households, the three Chinese women work hard to support their husbands, bring up their children and overcome personal struggles.