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The Wedding Banquet喜宴 ~ Chinese Movies&TV

Today let’s take a brief introduction of a famous Chinese movie named “The Wedding Banquet”.The Wedding Banquet, the first film that made Ang Lee known in the international film circle, won the Golden Bear Award at the 1993 Berlin Film Festival and Best Picture at the Golden Horse Award. The most remarkable feature of the film is the way it deals with the homosexual issue – with the family ethic concept and balanced view point that are unique to the Chinese. The social issue that bothers almost all those families finally finds a comic solution in the film. The way they deal with the homosexual issue is kind of oriental, which can be found similarities even in classical Chinese novels. However, the story takes place in the most prosperous and modern metropolis – New York, where tradition and modernity blend, and old and new concepts conflict and compromise. As the story goes on, Ang Lee reveals the perplex, helplessness and tolerance of a traditional Chinese family towards the impact of modern conception.

In the film, the core conflict – aging Chinese parents expecting their only son to marry and have a child in America – is understandable to every Chinese. The director Ang Lee set the film in the western environment where Chinese and Westerners live under the same roof. The story begins with the unusual sexual inclination of the son, and carries on by the strong and pure expectation of the aging parents, the filial piety of the son, the kindness of his son’s boyfriend, and the key factor of the film – the happy wedding banquet of strong Chinese flavor. Ang Lee succeeds to present a touching movie with mild oriental feeling. Details are revealed by the valuable jewels the parents brought from mainland China, the red packet filled with US dollars (it is interesting: the red packet is a typical Chinese concept, while US dollars are typically Western), the wishes and blessings from friends, the bustling and extravagant Chinese wedding banquet, and the stunning bridal chamber pranks; on the other hand, the true sexual preference of the son, the idea of fake marriage from his boyfriend Simon, and the simple and practical wish of the “bride” Weiwei to get a green card – the conflicts consisting of these realistic and special elements vividly convey the visage of Chinese culture, bringing a natural charm of the movie.


金熊奖Jīnxióng Jiǎng: the highest prize awarded for the best film at the Berlin International Film Festival.
台北金马影展Táiběi Jīnmǎ Yǐngzhǎn: a film festival and awards ceremony held annually in Taiwan. It was founded in 1962, by Government Information Office, Republic of China (Taiwan).
李安Lǐ An: a Taiwanese-born American film director, screenwriter and producer.

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