Probably the most uncomfortable film in the entire programme, Carol Nguyen’s No Crying at the Dinner Table shows the director interviewing her parents and sister about past traumas in their lives. What comes as a surprise is the frankness of Nguyen’s family, showing a level of self-awareness and honesty about their emotions that makes the whole thing feel as intimate as a therapy session. Then, to make matters complicated, Nguyen sits her family together and plays the interviews back to them, a move that goes from sadistic to cathartic in a matter of minutes. Not everything about No Crying at the Dinner Table sits well with me, but it’s likely the short that will stay with the most long after this festival ends, which I consider an achievement.
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