Miao Miao

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  • Movie: Miao Miao
  • Chinese: 渺渺
  • Director: Hsiao-tse Cheng
  • Writer: Even Yi-Fen Tsai, Hsiao-tse Cheng
  • Producer: Stanley Kwan, Jacky Yee-Wah Pang, Kar Wai Wong
  • Cinematographer: Pun Leung Kwan
  • World Premiere: October 2008 (Pusan International Film Festival)
  • Release Date: 2008
  • Runtime: 83 min.
  • Language: Cantonese
  • Country: Hong Kong, Taiwan

Plot

18 year-old Ai lives the life of a mischievous teenager. She ignores her studies, putting all her passion into baking cakes that always come out burnt, lopsided, or hard as a rock. Ai cannot imagine a greater happiness than one day making the perfect pastry, until someone new walks into her life and Ai discovers some things in life are sweeter than cake.

This is Miao Miao, a shy exchange student from Japan. Yet behind Miao Miao’s modest exterior hides a master chef. Miao Miao teaches Ai the delicate art of baking and Ai introduces Miao Miao to Taipei’s ugliest snack, chicken feet. Both girls promise to make this year special. The year Miao Miao will do everything she’s not allowed to do at home.

Ai imagines this as a life where they can do whatever they want. Get a tattoo or a belly button ring. A life away from her estranged father. But for Miao Miao, this means finding her first love. The kind of love her grandmother still talks about, even after Alzheimer’s has erased all other memories.

As the year’s big baking competition nears, Miao Miao spends less time by the oven and more time in a second-hand CD shop (once, it was a cake shop where Miao Miao’s grandma first found love as a young girl). Its owner, Chen Fei, shuts out the world, using his headphones like earplugs. Miao Miao makes it her mission to uncover what past sadness has led him to hate music so much. But when Ai realizes Miao Miao is falling in love with Chen Fei, Ai discovers her feelings for Miao Miao may go deeper than she ever expected.

That summer, Miao Miao and Ai learned what it is to love. Their summer together perhaps did not last long. But life’s emotional journey is just beginning.

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