Ilo Ilo 2013 – 99min.
Bittersweet drama about the relationship between a boy, his parents and their Filipina maid in Singapore.
Anthony Shen's debut looks at the daily life of a Singapore family and all its tense situations. Jiale is a rambunctious boy; his parents have no idea how to deal with him. His very pregnant mother types letters of termination to her colleagues. His father loses his job and savings, but doesn't tell anyone. A maid from the Philippines is hired to look after Jiale. Slowly she wins his affections and that of his parents.
What seems like a classic "nanny-wins-over-family” story is more than that. Although many tears will flow at the end, Anthony Shen's story focuses not only on the boy and the adults around him. He also uses a fine sense of humor to tie the daily mini crises of each person together into a finely analyzed look at a patchwork family during the economic turbulence of the 1990s.