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Ilo Ilo review

Winner of last year’s Camera d’Or in Cannes, Anthony Chen’s touching 1997-set debut tells of a Filipino maid, Terry (Angeli Bayani), who comes to work for a Singapore family buckling under the pressure of economic recession.

Painting a tough-but-realistic portrait of life as a domestic, Chen doesn’t simply trade on hardships, with the put-upon Terry’s bond with the family’s son Jiale (Koh Jia Ler) providing the film’s heart.

As their early fights give way to growing respect, it’s a beautifully calibrated relationship, with small moments gradually building into something much bigger.

A gem.

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