Nine-year-old Jiale is a smart but mischievous and brattish school boy, while his pregnant mother Hwee Leng often rushes between the company and the housework every day, she also receives complains from her son’s school. Feeling exhausted and incompetent, Hwee Leng finally hired a Filipino maid Terry (Teresa) for the housework and taking care of Jiale.
In the beginning, Jiale rejects Terry and takes all kinds of opportunities to bully her, but in order to support her own family, Terry can only strive to survive in this one. As Jiale’s parents are too busy dealing with their own issues to pay attention to him, Jiale and Terry gradually establish their special bond, but it seems that the young kid does not realise the imminent family storm… And this was 1997, the Asian financial crisis was creeping up on the country…
The film was awarded the Camera d’Or at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.
“Ilo Ilo is filled with sweetness, humour and humanity: so assured and accomplished that it’s hard to believe this is a first feature.” The Guardian — 4⁄5 stars
Mandarin, Tagalog, English, Hokkien
Singapore Film Commission