All Films • 8m 5s
A mail-order bride on the way to meet her new husband searches for a restroom in Chinatown, where an unassuming young man outside of a sandwich shop offers his nearby apartment. “Persimmon Night,” directed by Scarlett Li, highlights a brief encounter between two strangers that opens up a window into complicated lives in progress. As the unnamed man and woman walk inside, she gives him a pair of persimmons (“they’re good luck”), and heads to the bathroom. We haven’t been briefed to expect another woman but soon there’s one there, standing in the doorway, looking displeased that her boyfriend has invited a stranger into their home, particularly in the midst of what appears to be an in-progress conflict. At some point, the girlfriend leaves, leaving the traveler to browse the man’s belongings — her scattershot chit-chat deflects attention away from the fact she’s alone in a new city where she can’t speak the language, and unsure of her impending marriage to a man she’s never met. A lovely, well-observed film that packs in vivid character detail and personality, it moves in small ripples and resonates beyond viewing.
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