Film captures migrants’ plight

Falling in love, getting married, starting a family and bearing a child are all facts of life but if their order of occurrence is jumbled and if cultural issues interfere, the result could be traumatic.

That is the theme of Desert, a film in English and Korean, which will be in New Zealand cinemas on May 5.

The film debuted at the A-List World Premier Festival in Pusan, Korea recently.

Stephen Kang has written and directed the film, based on real life stories.

His first film Dream was the winner of the ‘Overseas Independent Korean Contest,’ and the ‘Best Digital Feature’ Award at the Air New Zealand Screen Awards. It was also the Runner Up at the DigiSpaa Australia 200.

Desert is the story of Jenny, a young pregnant Asian girl living in Auckland, left to fend for herself, when her Kiwi boyfriend abandons her just before they are about to get married.

Jenny is rejected by her Asian community for getting pregnant to a westerner out of wedlock and after unsuccessfully searching for her run away boy friend, she is forced to find a solution for her and her unborn baby.

The film highlights the cultural pressures that people from Asia encounter in a Western society. The plight of the young pregnant woman becomes complicated when her visa runs out.

Spokesperson Rhinal Patel said Jenny’s story is a reality for the growing number of Asian women in New Zealand.

“According to the Asia NZ Foundation Asian women in the 25-49 age group were 26% more than their male counterparts in New Zealand and that nearly a quarter came here to get married.

“Stephen was inspired to write and direct Desert as he observed the struggles many Asian women faced in New Zealand,” she said.

Stephen said New Zealanders should understand the plight of Asian women.

“I wanted them to see the challenges facing Asian women and understand that life for a single, pregnant Asian woman is not easy. Not only are they completely abandoned by their family and community but they are looked down upon and seen as a disgrace, it was important for me to capture and share this increasingly common story and personal journey,” he said.

Desert Credits

Writer & Director: Stephen Kang

Producers: Leanne Saunders & Matt Noonan

Banner: Severe Features, Curious Film

Lead Actors: Jane Kim and Andrew Han

Language: English, Korean

Running Time: 82 minutes

Contact: Rhinal Patel on 022-6597534


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