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Eat Man Drink Woman

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The film Eat Man Drink Woman marvelously illustrates the relationship between Chinese master chef Tao Chu and his three daughters. The oldest, Jia-Jen is an unmarried schoolteacher. The middle daughter, Jia-Chen, is a successful commercial airline executive whose career comes before all else. The youngest, Jia-Ning, is a twenty-year-old romantic who works at a Wendy's fast food joint. Every family has some kind of tradition in one form or another, for the Chu family, it was the Sunday dinner. Cooking for his daughters was his way of showing his love even though he couldn't verbally show it well. It became a burden for the daughters to have to eat every Sunday together, but they later understood what their father was trying to spend time with them. At each gathering though, something happens that drives the family further apart and the family gets more individualistic. The film Raise the Red Lantern is a story about polygamy within a household. The husband to these three wives just chose a fourth and tensions between the ladies increase. Similar to Eat Man Drink Woman, Raise the Red Lantern focuses on many strict traditions that the husband's family has. Every time the master of the house chooses a certain wife to spend the night with, the red lanterns are put up outside her room. Then the wife gets a foot massage and has priority in choosing what to eat the next day. Every day all the wives gather and eat in a certain part of the household together. These traditions and rituals were the way of life for this household, just as the Sunday dinner was for Eat Man Drink Woman.

Kinship is a major part of China's culture in the time these movies tried to exhibit. In Eat Man Drink Woman, the family is more of a nuclear family that is currently in most of today's societies. The movie shows a common kinship problem that is universal throughout the world. That the communication between generations is somewhat difficult. The father could not verbally express his love to his daughters because it might show vulnerability. However in Raise the Red Lantern, the polygamy kinship of the household shows that it was a time before China did away with those types of marriages. The tensions that were illustrated in the movie show many cases of how polygamy can cause problems.

In the film Eat Man Drink Woman, the director uses food as a recurring theme and symbol. Food and the Sunday dinner signify the effort of having



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