Pei-Pei Cheng as Maria (left) and Sandra Oh as Ava star in Meditation Park, which the Vernon Film Society presents at the Vernon Towne Cinema April 7. (Mongrel Media photo)

Society screening delves into life of immigrant family

The Vernon film society presents Meditation Park April 9 at the Vernon Towne Cinema

The first movie in the Vernon Film Society’s Spring program is Meditation Park, which will be shown April 9 at 5:15 p.m. and 7:45 p.m. at the Vernon Towne Cinema.

This movie by director Mina Shum (Double Happiness) is shot in east Vancouver, her own neighbourhood.

The movie stars Pei-Pei Cheng (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) as Maria and Sandra Oh (Window Horses, Blindness) as her daughter.

It opens with Maria hosting a birthday celebration for her husband Bing (Tzi Ma, Arrival) whom she reveres and respects although he has always made sure her life revolves around him and has not encouraged her to take part in the wider world.

All this changes when Maria finds thong underwear in his pocket when she is doing his laundry and, after discovering he has been cheating on her, embarks on a journey of self-discovery and friendship with other immigrant women from the area.

Many of us will be familiar with the PNE and how local people make some money during its run by having parking on their property. Marie joins these somewhat eccentric women and a rather shady neighbor Gabriel (Don McKellar: Window Horses, Trigger) and realizes that people’s lives are much more complicated than Bing has led her to believe.

A compassionate look into lives of immigrant women, the movie is full of humour and charm, boasting fine performances by all the cast.

“Shum mines her favourite theme – immigrant experience in Canada – in what seems at first to be a gentle slice of life but eventually develops a powerful emotional force,” wrote Susan G. Cole of NOW Magazine.

Meditation Park shows at the Vernon Towne Cinema at 5:15 p.m. and 7:45 p.m. April 9. All tickets are $7 cash only and are available at the Bean Scene Coffee House and Cinema one week ahead of showtime. Rated G.


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