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Sundance 2021: “Amy Tan: Unintended Memoir”


Rating: 4 out of 5.
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Every person has their story to share. It is just a matter of opening up, releasing the heavy burden and set it free. When famous people speak up about their past, most people on social networks become judgmental and say things like why do we need to hear this and that? Our story is better, more painful and inspiring. The truth is that every story of every individual who’s walked on this earth is important. But can we tell all of them? No. But we can go through one individual and make a subtle connection as if it was our own.

“Amy Tan: Unintended Memoir” is a literary titan. It’s about a woman who reinvents herself through writing and creates a stand for Asian-American representation in the United States. More importantly, she shares the story of her life, family matters, her shattered and restored relationship with her mom, broken and fixed family ties. It’s the story of a woman who found a new voice through writing by expressing herself through the most powerful tool – language.

From the late director, James Redford, the film tells Tan’s story through animation, when it simply could not recreate it otherwise. Having it beautifully edited, and the appearance of the Tan family, we hear an incredible story of enthusiasm, heartbreak, so much struggle and how life could be different for Amy Tan if she were not brave enough to fight back at a very crucial moment of her life (no spoilers). It’s an ode to life, love, relationship and strong will that Tan represents in herself. Absolutely remarkable story told as an unintended memoir, this film, rightfully, found the right title for its name.

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