I missed the first half due to overlapping with Cinequest, but the very next night, I was up at the Alamo Drafthouse for some Asian American films. First thing I learned--after Cinequest made their festival theme "Unite" the theme for CAAM this year is...Stories That Unite. I love it!
So, my first CAAMFest film this year was JASMINE. It's a cool psychological thriller set in Hong Kong. Jason Tobin stars as Leonard To, a Hong Kong businessman whose wife was brutally murdered in a knife attack one year earlier. He's been away, but now he's back and trying to rebuild his life. He's finding a new job, he's reconnecting with old friends. And he's still calling the detective hoping they found new clues to his wife's unsolved murder. When he goes to lay a flower on her grave, he sees a stranger at her grave. He chases him, but no luck. He becomes obsessed with this stranger. Is he the killer? At least he's suspicious and needs some answers. Interspersed with scenes from a support group for people with murdered loved ones, Leonard conducts his investigation, tailing the strange man everywhere. I've never been to Hong Kong, but in a way I feel like I've traveled the streets through this movie. And there's an ending that I won't give away, other than to say it was a genuinely effective surprise.
And that's how I started my 2016 CAAMFest.
Running Time: 80 minutes
My Total Minutes: 424,651