Tigertail chronicles the life of Pin-Jui, from his youthful adventures in Taipei to his immigrant journey and current life in the United States. It showcases dual timelines with one focused on Taiwan and the other in the present, where Pin-Jui is working on mending his relationship with his daughter. This is Alan Yang’s directorial debut and is based on his personal journey with his father.
Watch this if you:
Like personal stories. Alan Yang also made Master of None with Aziz Ansari (also on Netflix, feel free to check it out), so you can expect the same humdrum almost melancholic feeling that calmly flows through the entire film without feeling depressing. If you like Asian stories, specifically, then you’ve come to the right place because there’s nothing more refreshing than seeing our stories on film.
What I think:
As the daughter of an immigrant, this is a tale that I’m very familiar with. Tigertail takes this universal story and handles it with plenty of care and accuracy (even down to the belted khaki outfit that my dad is so fond of). It’s a reflection of a lot of Asian households but the magical thing about it is everything still feels personal to the filmmaker.
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Alan Yang’s passionate retelling of the immigrant experience is humbling, to say the least, and paints our parents as actual people and not just the tiger parents we’re so used to seeing. This isn’t the first time this kind of story was put to screen nor is it Alan Yang’s first time either, but it’s something we need more of. Wonderfully acted and touching on many levels, Tigertail wears its heart on its sleeve and provides a straightforward, beautifully-filmed look at the Asian experience without all the unnecessary fuss.
Tigertail is now streaming on Netflix. Watch it here.