So you have chosen to travel internationally as your year-ender. Great! You are in for a treat with tropical islands this holiday season. And what better destination this year than Taiwan?
Taiwan is blessed with extraordinary vistas and incredible cityscapes. If you haven’t booked with a travel agent yet, you can still get a private tour of Taiwan with many inclusions and amenities in the package. You might be ready to experience the local culture and try their stinky tofu dish. But before anything else, you should also know that you face more than half a day of travel time.
The average time of flight from America to Taiwan is over fifteen hours. And before you sleep all the way through, here are three excellent Asian movie recommendations to set the mood and make the travel time seem shorter. You’ll also find Western-produced films that showcase strong Asian leads and cultural plots in this list.
Train to Busan (2016)
When it comes to zombie-themed films, you might have heard about “Night of the Living Dead,” “World War Z,” and even Zack Snyder’s recent “Army of the Dead.” Well, you are missing out on “Train to Busan.” The Korean masterpiece was critically acclaimed in 2016 with $98.5 million in global revenue. Although fans are still hostile toward the idea, there will be a remake in an American context. Regardless, it only proves how successful this small-time Korean film is.
The story follows a father and his daughter caught up in the apocalypse during a seemingly normal day. The pair boards a train to Busan (their destination) as a virus spreads throughout the city. The passengers must now work with one another to survive. If you haven’t watched this yet, prepare yourself for a gut-wrenching, fast-paced, and heart-stopping thrill.
If you are a film buff, there is no way that you haven’t heard or seen Bong Joon-ho’s “Parasite.” The Korean film bagged awards from the Academy, Golden Globe, BAFTA, and even Cannes Film Festival. “Parasite” made history in 2019 when it won the Academy Award for Best Picture, and Joon-ho became a shining light for all foreign filmmakers. The global recognition was more than enough for the movie to make a buzz, and most viewers remember it by its most famous theme, “Eat the rich.”
The film is both funny and disturbing. If you haven’t seen the movie, you must prepare yourself to face the duality of life.
The film proves that reality depends on where you stand. There is no right perspective or wrong viewpoint because both exist. There are rich people, and there are poor people. There is only the gap that people can bridge, or will they? “Parasite” follows the story of an unfortunate and struggling family as they try to survive life by a rich yet unknowing family employing them. The family invades the rich family’s house like a parasite (pun intended) until they discover some secrets of the house itself.
Crazy Rich Asians (2018)
After binging two disturbing films, it is time for you to watch an iconic rom-com of this generation. “Crazy Rich Asians” is a film adapted straight from a book written by Kevin Kwan in 2013. He wanted to tell a story to give the American audience insights about being Asian.
“Crazy Rich Asians” provides a breath of fresh air from your usual romantic comedies where a boy meets a girl and then comes another girl who turns out to be time traveling. It is not like that at all. It might not even be “Pretty Woman” or “The Wedding Singer” because the movie can stand its ground. The story is, of course, about how hard it is to be Asian with all the familial expectations and responsibilities.
The character Nick Young, apparently a Singaporean heir to many businesses, brings home a Chinese American girl, Rachel Chu, which many frowned upon. If you think wooing your in-laws is a struggle, try it with Asian folks. In Rachel’s case, she has to win the approval of the whole family, extended family, and even family friends. The story is about how the love between the two characters will be enough against all odds.
Although these movies are only at least seven hours long put together—and maybe they aren’t enough for a fifteen-hour flight—they will keep you entertained well enough you wouldn’t realize you’ve already landed. These films explore life’s dynamics and show you how rich and deep Asian culture is. With these films (and others on your flight), you can blaze through your 15-hour flight with ease.