The Taste of Mango - 2023

The Taste of Mango - 2023

A mother’s dream and a daughter’s beckoning, The Taste of Mango is a love letter flowing through time, tenderly untangling knots in a family’s unspoken past. Searching for answers that her mother and grandmother often brush aside, Chloe traces the reaches and limits of familial love.

– edited by Isidore Bethel / also edited by Chloe Abrahams and Stella Heath Keir / directed by Chloe Abrahams / produced by Chloe Abrahams and Elliott Whitton / executive produced by Kellen Quinn and Diane Quon

– Cardamom Films, Fit Via Fi, Oscilloscope Laboratories (US distribution), Conic Films (UK distribution), POV (US broadcast)

– BFI London FF (Grierson nominee), True/False FF, First Look (Museum of the Moving Image), Dokufest, BlackStar FF, New Orleans FF, Indie Memphis, CAAMFest, Amherst Bellwether Film Series, San Diego Asian FF, Austin Asian American FF, New/Next FF, Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival, Folkestone Documentary Festival, Aesthetica Short FF, Mental Health FF Singapore, Toronto Reel Asian IFF, First Films Sydney, This Human World International Human Rights FF Vienna, DOCUTAH IDFF, Chennai International Documentary & Short FF, In Light Human Rights Documentary FF (Bloomington, Indiana), Flatpack FF (Birmingham, UK), Docs Ireland (Belfast)

– BFI London FF Audience Award, British Independent Film Award – Best Debut Director (Feature Documentary), Indie Memphis Departures Audience Award, Eye Spy Best Documentary Award (Eastern Eye), BIFA Raindance Maverick Award longlist

– 75 minutes

– with support from Doc Society, SFFILM, Points North Institute, Jacob Burns Film Center, Sheffield Doc/Fest Meet Market, Docs Ireland, One World Media, The Film & TV Charity

– one of The Guardian’s “best of this year’s True/False documentary festival”
– one of Sight and Sound’s top five films at True/False: “A bright seam of joy runs through Abrahams’ engrossing first feature, despite its bruising subject matter.”
– one of The Film Stage’s best undistributed films of 2023 and eight films to see at First Look: “One of the strongest debut features of the year, Chloe Abrahams’ documentary The Taste of Mango unweaves a tangled web of familial strife [and] conveys a surprisingly ethereal, poetic tone.”
– one of Screen Anarchy’s First Look recommendations: “A delicate family portrait about unconditional love, resolve and hope…Lyrical and heartbreaking.”
– one of Bertha DocHouse’s “Docs We’re Looking Forward to in 2024:” “Chloe Abrahams has made waves with her personal debut feature.”
– one of ANTIGRAVITY’s New Orleans FF recommendations: “A testament to film’s power to affect the course of its subjects.”
– one of the Columbia Daily Tribune’s top five films of True/False: “Every one of Abrahams’ storytelling choices pays off beautifully — the film is a tender feat of visual and sound design.”
– one of The Pitch’s best films of True/False: “Abrahams’ poetic narration threads through the film, giving a loving portrait of her relationship with her mom…It’s a love letter to people who mean a great deal to her and a brave, probing exercise in unearthing and addressing trauma.”
– one of the films The New York Times profiled for “How Should Assault Look Onscreen? It Doesn’t Need to Be Seen.”
– on festival recommendation lists from Paste (New/Next FF), The Austin Chronicle (Austin Asian American FF), Original Cin and POV Magazine (Toronto Reel Asian IFF)
Filmmaker: “The Taste of Mango communicates an enormous sense of love and generosity throughout, not only revealing the filmmaker’s origins in fine art with exquisite visual and aural interludes but also in the conversations between the women. The alternation between what is said and what isn’t or can’t be becomes a compelling reason to watch.”
Documentary Magazine: “Oscillating between intimate, observational sequences, introspective voiceovers, and visceral, dreamlike vignettes, the film further evokes our emotional registers, creating a feeling of being present in the moment yet simultaneously unmoored from it.”
Evening Standard (four stars): “Abrahams’ film reaffirms the strength of generational bonds and champions the desire of the new generation to question and provoke and demand answers.”
The Arts Hour on the BBC World Service (10:43 – 22:43): “Hugely affecting.”
CriterionCast: “An astonishing piece of non-fiction filmmaking…This is a beautifully tender and poetic multi-generational character study of sorts, beginning as something resembling a love letter to a mother from her child and ultimately evolving into a gorgeously nuanced and textured family portrait. Mixing new footage with archival materials, Abrahams’ new documentary is an engrossing, human meditation on familial history and the power of reconciliation.”
Cineuropa: “Abrahams’ debut utilises the sensorial potential of memories – whether read aloud or scribbled down on paper – through visuals and sound, unlocking the treasure trove of the past.”
FilmInk: “A spellbinding portrait of love and perseverance.”
Eye for Film: “Taking the form of personal documentary, family exposé, and home video unafraid to warp footage into grainy, dislocating, pixellated close-ups, the affection of the exchanges renders it endearingly personal and disarmingly empathic with a palpable warmth.”
Holland Focus: “This is a moving, lyrical and haunting film.”
Reverse Shot: “Each tonal change makes us reconsider the film from multiple perspectives, disrupting any groove into which the film settles, and making us question the trancelike pull of some of its imagery.”
Docs in Orbit podcast (37:10 – 39:50): “Metaphorically and aesthetically, [Chloe] is doing things with home-movie shooting that I haven’t quite seen before.” -Eric Hynes
KIOS: “This film explores these topics in a tender, beautiful and painfully poetic way. At times, it feels like a dream, something that transcends the moment. There are images that have lingered with me since watching it…In that sense, it’s a lot like a memory.”
The Moveable Fest: “It isn’t only beautiful to witness a clarity emerge in The Taste of Mango, but to understand how difficult it has been to come by.”
Faithful Correspondence: “Through the work of thoughtful edits…The result is a documentary with imagistic, experimental elements that elevate its vantage from being purely observational to being transformative.”
ReelN: “The Taste of Mango defies easy description…Each tonal shift prompts viewers to reconsider the film from different angles, ensuring it never settles into a predictable rhythm.”
Film Festival Today: “A powerfully moving examination of sexual trauma and healing…a cinematically arresting mix…[Chloe shifts] effortlessly from the raw challenges of everyday living to the beauty of cinematic poetry.”
The Maneater: “A highly emotional watch.”

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