Blue Sun Palace
Blue Sun Palace

Blue Sun Palace

Dir. Constance Tsang / 2024 / 116 mins / USA / Mandarin / Australian Premiere

The complexities of the migrant experience are tenderly depicted in this deeply felt debut feature, which arrives fresh from Cannes Critics’ Week.

In New York City, recently arrived Chinese workers Amy and Didi are employed at a massage parlour in Flushing, Queens. As they navigate the demands of family back home and the difficulties of their new circumstances, the film sensitively portrays the need for community that define the process of putting down roots in a foreign land. But when an unexpected act of violence encroaches on the two women’s lives, an unlikely bond is formed.

Constance Tsang’s 2021 short film Beau won a Jury Prize at the Directors Guild of America’s Student Film Awards, and her longform debut confirms her as a talent to watch. Here, the Brooklyn-based Chinese-American filmmaker summons a strong sense of place and cultural specificity, aided by a stellar cast headlined by Wu Ke-xi (Nina Wu, MIFF 2019) and Tsai Ming-liang staple Lee Kang-sheng (Vive L’Amour, MIFF 1995 & 2022; The Deserted, MIFF 2018). Blue Sun Palace is a warm, empathetic study of a specific expat community and the universality of the human hunger for connection.

“Intimate and affecting … Tsang and her strong cast have captured something evanescent and life-giving, and grounded it in kitchen clatter and workplace chatter, the gritty day-to-day.” – Hollywood Reporter