Confetti – a film about a traditional working class Chinese family’s struggle to receive guidance and education with their daughter, who has recently been diagnosed with Dyslexia.
Written and directed by Ann Hu, the film is split into four chapters, and set across China and New York.
Meimei, a clearly intelligent and creative child, is exposed at school for her inability to write her name or read any basic words. Her mother Lan (Zhu Zhu), a cleaner at the school sees her daughter chastised and ridiculed by the teacher and kids and reports her fears back to her father Chen (Yanan Li), a tailor who works from home. Thomas (George C. Tronsrue), an American teacher, recognises that she shows similar traits to his cousin and highlights to the family that he believes her to have Dyslexia, an unknown condition in China. Facing adversity and lack of knowledge, Thomas helps the mother and child relocate to New York to give her a chance to receive the support needed to give her the opportunity to integrate into society and formal education and have the same opportunities a person without this condition has in the world.
The trials and tribulations faced by mother and daughter during their desperate situation, are spurred on by an initially reluctant writer friend of Thomas’s, a strong-willed lady in a wheelchair called Amy (Helen McClellan). As the film progresses, we learn that Meimei’s struggles stem from her mother’s own hidden illiteracy.
This is a hopeful film, about the determination of a mother to give her daughter all the opportunities she herself lacked. Worldwide 1 – 10 of the population are dyslexic, and many of those go unrecognised and often end up in dead end jobs, far beyond their abilities. I found this film heart warming, and as a fellow dyslexic (I wasn’t diagnosed until my late twenties) can fully empathise with how much more difficult life is with this condition, and how important it is for people to recognise that it doesn’t make you dumb or abnormal, just makes the ordinary tasks of life a hell of a lot harder and longer.
A well constructed, well made film that would be enjoyed by all who watch it.
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