The film weaves three poetic tales as the lesbians in Drifting Flowers seek their true identify. In the first story, Jing, a blind singer, falls in love with her band’s tomboy accordionist Diego. In another time and place, Lily, an elderly lesbian and Yen, her gay friend, create an unexpected bond and support each other in a time of crisis. Finally, we see Diego before she joined the band, when as a teenager she came to grips with her gender identity.
Three women in three different periods navigate the waters of sexual identity in sensitive portrait of the search for self and love. Three loosely connected episodes illuminate the flux of life: Young Meigo struggles to understand her feelings of jealousy when her older sister begins a romantic relationship; Alzehimer’s sufferer Lily lives her life between moments of lucidity and remembrances of her dead lover with the help of an old friend; and teenager Chalkie tries to reconcile her awakening sexuality with her body.
Divided into three hypnotically photographed, thematically linked vignettes, it offers audiences an unconventional look at gender and sexual orientation in Taiwan. Although it opens with a fascinatingly heartfelt tale of two sisters struggling to stay together in a society with prejudices regarding disability and homosexuality, the film’s real discovery is in the terrifically naturalistic performance by university student turned actress Chao Yi-lan as Chalkie, the good-hearted, tomboy accordion player who appears in two of the film’s segments.
Using a constantly moving train as a symbol for journey and femininity throughout, it transports us as the heroines drift along like tough but delicate flowers blooming in their own time while navigating through self-discovery, familial duty, and friendly loyalty with the ultimate destination of love in all of its incarnations.
(Source: imdb.com; asianwiki.com; reviews.filmintuition.com)
You may watch the official trailer here:
Original Title: Piao lang qing chun
Director: Zero Chou
Stars: Serena Fang, Yi-Ching Lu, Chih-Ying Pai
Run time: 97 min