Nicole Chi Amén
Costa Rica | 2023 | 75 min
World premiere
Languages : Spanish, Chinese Regional Dialects, Mandarin
Subtitles : English, French

Special Mention

Born into the Chinese community in Costa Rica, filmmaker Nicole Chi Amén was never able to communicate with her grandmother Guián, who couldn’t speak Spanish. After her death, Nicole heads to China to rediscover her roots. The result is a sublime cinematic travelogue in which sensuous shots capture the essence of a place, in spite of linguistic differences.

Filmmaker Nicole Chi Amén comes from the Chinese community in Costa Rica. She speaks Spanish while her grandmother, Guián, spoke the Cantonese dialect of her birth. Despite having lived in the same town, they were never able to communicate in words. But her grandmother's presence, as well as her mysterious language and culture, were a foundational part of her entire childhood. After Guián's death, the filmmaker embarks on a quest to reconnect with her roots, sharing her experience of the stereotypes and racism she encounters. She creates sensory images by observing Guián's traces and memories, from papaya trees to patterned blouses and her childhood home. By immersing herself in these elements, she seeks to understand the essence of a “lost” country. From Costa Rica to China, poised between languages and traditions, Nicole Chi Amén takes a tender look at her own people, the Chinese community in both Costa Rica and her grandmother's native village. The result is a sublime cinematic diary addressed to Guián.


Alice Riva

Guián, 2023
Comadre, 2022
Gaming: Oh, it’s a Girl, 2019

Screenings and tickets

Thursday 27 April 2023 18:00
In the presence of the director

Saturday 29 April 2023 14:30


Nicole Chi
Gabriela Rivas Feoli
Roberth Pereira
Diego Rojas
Alejandra Vargas CarballoNoche Negra Producciones
Sales contact
Alejandra Vargas CarballoNoche Negra

Burning Lights Competition

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