THE TASTE OF MANGO
Director(s): Chloe Abrahams
Screenings: Friday 4:30 PM; Sunday 12:15 PM
Film description: The Taste of Mango, Chloe Abrahams’ debut feature, is an enveloping, hypnotic, urgently personal meditation on family, memory, identity, violence, and love. At its centre are three extraordinary Sri Lankan women: the director’s mother, Rozana; her grandmother, Jean; and the director herself. Their stories, by turns difficult and jubilant, testify to the entangled and ever-changing nature of inheritance and the ways in which we both hurt and protect the ones we love.
Programmers notes: How does a family confront trauma together, and what could healing look like? Chloe Abrahams’ remarkable first feature breaks new ground as it not only poses these questions, but offers an intimate look at three generations of women working through them together. Growing up in the UK with her mother, Rozana, Abrahams always sensed a dark cloud hanging over visits from Sri Lanka by her grandmother, Jean; while it seemed clear these clouds related to whispers of Jean’s tumultuous marriage back home, for years the truth remained abstract. But with this project, all three women speak to each other about harm endured and passed along, confronting difficult topics of violence (physical, sexual, and emotional) head-on. In giving us intimate access to these deeply difficult conversations, Abrahams shows us that even if the path to healing may have false starts and detours, seemingly unspeakable things can be said when everyone approaches each other with gentle understanding and trust. Throughout, Abrahams makes inspired choices in music and editing that further elevate The Taste of Mango into the upper echelon of personal essay films. Named the #1 film at True/False Film Festival 2023 by Simran Hans in Sight & Sound.