Produced: Taiwan, 1994
Eat Drink Man Woman by the Taiwanese diasporic director Ang Lee is one of the most widely discussed and celebrated food films. The spectacle of exotic food is deployed as a means for exploring family dynamics at a time of rapid social change. Widowed Mr Chu, a master chef in Taipei’s Grand Hotel, is living with his three grown-up daughters. Each Sunday evening, they share an opulent home-cooked dinner, prepared by their father, a first-generation Chinese immigrant in Taiwan, in accordance with ancient Chinese tradition. Although the abundance of food, and the time expended on its preparation, is the material manifestation of the abundance of love, nurture and care that holds the family together, it soon transpires that the ritual of commensality is fraught with tensions and devoid of joy.