Snapshots of a family during the final moments of elderly grandmother
by Anthony Chen
14 Min / Singapore



Ah Ma by Ilo Ilo director Anthony Chen is a poignant snapshot of a family gathered to say final good bye to the matriarch of the family.

As the old woman lies dying in the hospital room, we already get a sense that everyone - her kids and grandkids whom she nurtured have moved on into their respective busy lives. In the final moments of her death, they all take a brief pause and reflect on their times with her, only to probably become busy and consumed again by the quitodian life.

The film doesn't seem much when we begin to start watching it, but gradually as the film unfolds we start understanding the complicated interpersonal relationships of members and their varied response to the elder person who is dying. Everything the film captures are like snippets of photographs of these people during their grandmother's last hour of death. Different generations of family, dealing with their feelings differently and it does not take much talking to show it. The simplicity of the film proves that the the best stories we have to tell are the stories that are already within us.

This film got special jury mention at Cannes.