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Father Knows Best: Sex, Love, and Kinship in Ang Lee’s “Eat Drink Man Woman” – NCTA Film Club

What does it mean to be a family—or for that matter, a man or woman—in a rapidly changing society where traditional structures of meaning find themselves under siege? As the final installment of Ang Lee’s (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; Brokeback Mountain; Hulk) “Father Knows Best” trilogy and his only film shot entirely in Taiwan, Eat Drink Man Woman explores this question and others in a gripping and beautifully shot family dramedy. Released in 1994, the film was nominated for dozens of awards in the Hollywood art film market, including an Academy Award nomination for the Best Foreign Language Film in 1995.

While Eat Drink Man Woman is sure to appeal to viewers’ appetites and possibly inspire you to cook dinner, the aim of this workshop is to critically examine the film’s cultural contributions beyond its stunning visual sequences. During the first half of the workshop, Dr. Huerta will lecture on central themes, critical reception, and the sociological history of love and marriage to shed light on the film’s representation of Taiwanese kinship at the cusp of the new millennium. Participants will be provided with discussion questions in advance and will be invited to share their own questions and insights during the second half of the workshop.

Important: Participants are expected to view the movie on their own before the program (we recommend streaming it for free on Kanopy).

You can view the trailer for Eat Drink Man Woman below.

Program Leader

Elise Huerta is a cultural studies scholar and educator who specializes in modern and contemporary China. Her research explores the cultural politics of touch in modern Chinese literature, film, and visual culture. She holds a PhD in East Asian Languages & Cultures from Stanford University and a BA in Asian Languages & Cultures from the University of Michigan.

Date and Time

Thursday, May 23, 2024 from  4:30 to 6:30 PM (Pacific Time).

This program will be held over Zoom.

Program benefits

  • Teaching resources.
  • Free WA OSPI clock hours.


This program is free and open to current in-service of all grades and related subjects. To apply, please follow this link.

This program is sponsored by the East Asia Resource Center at the University of Washington and funded by a Freeman Foundation grant in support of the National Consortium for Teaching about Asia (NCTA).