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The connection and disconnect of Twenty Years After
A story of two very different people who are not so different in their experience.

When film is at its best, when it becomes something transcendent, is when it is inclusive. When filmmakers find a story that somehow touches on an idea or an emotion so universal that we all can relate, while not rejecting our own uniqueness; this is when it resonates with audiences everywhere. If we're really lucky, it may just teach us as much about ourselves as each other. Twenty Years After is a film which manages to do all of this, taking us through devastating lows while reaffirming the positivity capable in the human spirit. Centred on a man and a woman of a generation perhaps past their prime who don't even speak the same language, this story reminds us that we frame our own reality with as dark or light a lens as we choose.

Twenty Years After reminds us that life does not provide a set of rules which assure happiness through adherence. People of different backgrounds and circumstances may find themselves at the same intersection. The story is presented through the experiences of two people; an aging American man who is released after serving twenty years in prison and a woman from China visiting her family in the US. Two decades of incarceration have distanced this man from his family and a world he once recognized. For this Chinese woman, she feels a cultural disconnect as well even though she has made the trip to show her commitment to the family. These two elderly people find themselves sitting on the same park bench, consumed by this sense of being left behind and not belonging. Although they share no common language, they find the means to connect. As the sun sets, they come to the same realization as the viewer; everyone has trouble and obstacles but life must continue and dealt with as best possible.

Both Writer/director Catharine Lin and the film's producer Ping Zhou have lived the experience of having one foot in two different cultures. The duo worked tirelessly to shape the two main characters of the film to communicate the disorientation and unsettling feeling which accompanies this scenario. The juxtaposition of Western and Chinese cultures through these characters transmits an authenticity while also providing moments of humor through verbal and nonverbal communication. Even more profoundly, the story communicates that a loosening of the familial unit and closeness permeates many different cultures in the world. What is most satisfying in this film is the rejection of a cliche? answer. These two elderly individuals find each other but they don't "fix" each other; they simply recognize the reflection of their own position in life.

A number of accolades have already confirmed that the story has resonated with audiences. These include winner for Best Picture at the Festigious International Film Festival as well as wins at the Global Film Festival Awards and US Hollywood International Film Festival. It's common to see audience members in tears at viewings of Twenty Years After. These quiet moments of emotional catharsis are encouraging for Producer Ping Zhou who recalls a very different atmosphere on set. She relates, "There were definitely tears from the crew as we filmed the scene in the park. It was difficult to capture this in Downtown LA. It's?. challenging to find a serene moment there. How long can DTLA keep quiet? The answer is less than 27 seconds. Ha. It's an unwritten rule and became our joke on set. Like the characters in our film, I had to remind myself that this was the way things are and I had to deal with it." 

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