Directed by Doris Yeung
TAXI STORIES follows the lives of several characters who come from very different social classes and remind us that money and status are blind to our basic human need— a sense that we belong, that we are appreciated, and that we are loved. A teenage Jakarta slum kid, a poor Beijing taxi driver, and a wealthy HK pregnant trophy wife anchor tales of three Asian metropolises in a globalized ecosystem of bodies and goods. In this networked narrative—think CRASH and BABEL by way of NIGHT ON EARTH—these characters and their respective networks of family and friends desperately search for personal happiness in the hustle and often find themselves stymied by internalized notions of class and race. Adi drives his uncle’s bajaj one day and meets up with foreign traveler Samantha, Zhang picks up wealthy and handsome Jack in his cab, and Monica jumps into one to go shopping and to escape from her posh flat. These mobile moments evolve into transformative brief encounters that open up our fixed ideas about identities and social infrastructures. Each story, each character, and each city comment on the complex state of globalization and its enforcement of exploitative practices, human and material.
Director Doris Yeung’s second feature, TAXI STORIES is a compelling drama that smartly shines a light on how we are inextricably linked in a global community. Whether we like it or not, our initial instincts to stay within our social structures are natural though may not always be fulfilling. These characters struggle with this idea as their search for human connection become mediated by their engagement with their city and its environs. Yeung has a keen eye for this human need and it shows in the sensitive way she deals with each story allowing each actor to play with the vulnerabilities of the characters she’s compassionately written. A slow burn, the film pays off in the subtle climax as each character discovers what it’s like to be appreciated, recognized, and loved.
— Jeremy Gaudette, with additional contributions by Lindy Leong
Doris Yeung 楊文穎 was raised in Hong Kong and California. Her first feature film, MOTHERLAND (2009), starring renowned Chinese and Canadian actors, Francoise Yip 葉芳華 and Kenneth Tsang 曾江, was named one of the 10 best Asian American Films of 2009 by Asian Pacific Arts Magazine. Doris was also named one of the “filmmakers to watch” by the Hollywood Reporter. She resides in Amsterdam since 2002 and founded the CinemAsia Film Festival, Netherlands.
Producers: Joe Lau, Kit Hung, Zacky El- Syahiq
Director: Doris Yeung
Writer: Doris Yeung
Cinematographer: Martijn Van Veen
Cast: Cora Cao, Petrina Fung/ Fung BoBo, Shanty Paredes, Nathan Wu, Aji Santosa