Small Talk explores a taboo topic that’s loomed large over the director’s personal life. By KEVIN MA導演黃惠偵藉《日常對話》來面對私人生活中一個重大的禁忌。撰文:馬樂民

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FOR MANY FAMILIES, the dinner table is about more than sharing meals; it’s a space for communication. For director Huang Hui-chen, the dinner table is where she had one of the most important conversations of her life.

The first Taiwanese film to win a LGBTIQ-themed Teddy Award at the Berlin International Film Festival, Small Talk is a documentary about Huang’s mother A-nu, a lesbian and a Taoist priestess who presides over funerals. Although mother and daughter live under the same roof, their relationship is one of silence and superficial acknowledgement of each other’s presence. Huang picked up the camera in hope of mending their relationship – but don’t expect a warm and fuzzy film.

Huang has the advantage of full access to her subject. The cameras show A-nu at work and at home with Huang’s young daughter, and they even capture interviews with A-nu’s girlfriends, both past and present. Conversations about A-nu’s sexuality are mostly casual and at times humorous. The only obstacles appear when Huang interviews A-nu’s siblings, who vehemently refuse to talk about A-nu’s sexuality even though they imply that they’re accepting of it.

The toughest conversations in the film happen in Huang’s home, when she asks her mother about her place in society, how she raised her children and her marriage to an abusive husband who she left two decades ago. The film’s most intense moment comes when Huang finally reveals the secret that drove her to make the film. A-nu remains the strong, silent type through the scene, but the tears she sheds speak louder than words.

On screen, A-nu seems baffled and even annoyed about being in front of the camera. Fortunately, Huang says that A-nu liked the film so much that she asked for free tickets so that she could show it to her friends. Making Small Talk may have been an emotionally painful ordeal, but it was an act of catharsis and reconciliation that was over two decades in the making.


由黃惠偵執導的紀錄片《日常對話》,主角是她的媽媽阿女。這位媽媽是女同志,亦是為人「牽亡」的法師,也就是在喪禮上主持牽引亡魂出離地獄升天的儀式。這是首部在柏林影展榮獲泰迪熊獎的台灣電影,該獎是頒給以 LGBTIQ(各種性傾向及跨性別族群)為主題的優秀電影。黃惠偵與母親雖然住在同一屋簷下,兩人卻只維持表面的互動,實際上大部分時間都是沉默共對。她於是拿起攝影機,希望透過鏡頭修補母女關係;然而,這可不是一部溫情洋溢令你看後感覺窩心的影片。


不過當黃惠偵在家裡跟母親談及她在社會上的地位、嫁了 個經常虐打她的老公,以及20年前離開夫家並獨力撫養孩子等話題時,母女間的對話就變得有口難言。影片最感人的一刻,是黃惠偵終於透露推動她拍攝本片背後的秘密時,阿女雖然一直堅強地保持沉默,可是滾滾而下的淚水已經勝過千言萬語。


Lift the haze Huang Hui- chen confronts her mother in Small Talk驅散陰霾黃惠偵在《日常對話》中與自己的母親傾情相對

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