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The Wedding Banquet

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Scott Craig
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The Wedding Banquet

The Wedding Banquet is an entertaining movie that gives great insights into the importance of family on Chinese life and the lengths people will go to in order to maintain appearances. It also shows that although the traditional family has been the ideal for thousands of years in China, there are those who are willing to accept change and see that family can be defined in various ways. It is also a great insight into how many Chinese immigrants try to juggle their new life in America with their family who remain in the old country. 

Although the movie was made over 25 years ago, the situation it portrays is one I'm sure many East Asians in the LGBTQ community still face. The movie has a happy ending with love and acceptance, but I can't help wonder how often this is really what happens. Given the extreme importance of family in Chinese culture, I'm inclined to believe that Wai-Tung is one of the fortunate people who find some degree of acceptance in their family. I also wonder if his family would have been so accepting had he not gotten Wei-Wei pregnant and at least provided a continuation to the family line. 

While the film was very entertaining, I'm not really sure exactly how I would use it in my class. It would be a great film for students to watch and spark discussions about traditions and their impact on immigrants; issues faced by members of the LGBTQ community, or perhaps even looking at family expectations.