Drifting Flowers (2008) - full transcript

Teddy Award-winning Director Zero Chou (Spider Lilies) weaves three poetic tales as the lesbians in Drifting Flowers seek their true identify. In the first story, Jing, a blind singer, falls in love with her band's tomboy accordionist Diego. In another time and place, Lily, an elderly lesbian and Yen, her gay friend, create an unexpected bond and support each other in a time of crisis. Finally, we see Diego before she joined the band, when as a teenager she came to grips with her gender identity.

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There is the fragrance

of flowers

there has always been...

The fragrance of flowers

here ..

There are all kinds of flowers

all kinds of flowers

deep in the mountains...

There is a wild forest

It's so beautiful

the scenery is so beautiful

Are you a boy or a girl?

What do you think?

May, your sister's waiting for you

jing is your sister?


oh I see...

You're a girl, right?

But... you don't look like one

why not?

I don't know how to say...

Sis, the new accordionist...

Looks like a boy, but she's a girl

she sounds very tall

yes, and everyone calls her Diego

don't call her that. It's impolite

you should call her "madam"

but that sounds strange

she doesn't look like a "madam"

why not?

She has really short hair

and she dresses like a boy



May & bobo

why didn't you do your homework?

Because I was watching TV

I went to watch my sister sing

bobo loves may!

The teacher told us to stay behind!

You love him, that's gross!

May, what's wrong?

I don't like stinky boys

it's just nonsense

if you don't like what it says...

Just wipe it off

come on, wipe it off

What's the matter?


Have you got a fever?

Your cheeks are burning

she's upset because
her classmates teased her

thank you

I ittle sister and elder sister

are like twins

let's go picking up fruits

by the riverside


Diego wants to lead you

Diego, listen

if you want to lead my sis...

You have to let her touch you first

and you must announce your name

or she'll get really nervous


also, you have to walk before her...

To help her avoid obstacles


try it

Who gave me his heart

pouring this glass of wine

draining this glass

I gave you my heart

who gave me his heart

pouring this glass of wine

draining this glass

I gave you my heart

the wind whispered softly

softly through my skin

I laughed softly

laughing at my devotion

oh wind, please tell me

who can read my heart

Who gave his heart

pouring this glass of wine

I drained this glass

and gave you my heart

wind whispered softly

softly through my skin

Sis, do you need to sing tonight?

Yes. After school...

Meet me at the massage parlor


sis, can you tie up
my hair with red ribbons?

Of course

we'll go to hsintien today

so we'll have to leave straight away

will Diego be there?

You seem to like her a lot

yeah, I love her!

I can take care of my own sister

she doesn't need a foster home

but she's just a second-grade student

how can you keep her up

until midnight every night?

Did she sleep in the bar last night?

Be more considerate of her, please

Everybody, I'm leaving

if you need any further help

just let social services know

we'll do our best





the social worker is being reasonable

(give some consideration to it

that's right

it's not good for may

to stay behind at school to

catch up with the homework missed


why not try temporary fosterage first?

I need to settle up with the boss

you can go first if you like

it's okay. I'll wait for them


Diego, why are you still here?

Let's go home together, okay?


can I lead your sister?


I need to pack my stuff

okay, go ahead


Yes, I'm here

can I ask you a favor?


Can you pick me up tomorrow?


I can pick you up anytime

yeah! Diego will come visit us


thanks so much

then may doesn't have to

take me every time

why can't I go? But I want to go too!

But you never finish your homework

and don't sleep properly at the clubs

I understand!

You want to keep Diego for yourself!


I won't get along with you anymore!


You're here

hello, Mrs. li

thanks for taking care of may tonight

it's no problem

may, say goodbye to your sister

Just leave may with us tonight

you don't need to worry

it'll be late when they finish work

I hope you can understand

it's no problem

please take care of her

we must leave now

let's go

Little sister, pretty as a blossom

beautiful blossom, pretty like my sister

I ittle sister and elder sister

close together like twins

together beside the river

picking up the fruit in blossom

little sister, pretty as a blossom

beautiful blossom, pretty like my sister

little sister...

Picking ripe fruit

time flows slowly like water

spring passes in just three months


What's the problem?

What's wrong with her?

I'm sorry, Mr. wang

have a drink

I wonder if...

May becomes used to the new place

would she be a bother to them?

What if she upsets them...

And is punished?

What if she runs out looking for me

and gets lost?

What if she runs out looking for me...

Little may, here's desert

you can eat it later

I'll help you finish your homework

I can do it by myself

you have a tear in your shirt

I didn't notice

it's embarrassing to wear it to school

how about I mend it for you?

I've finished!

And look. I've finished too

thank you

silly girl!

There's no need to say thank you

silly goose!

Oh, you're here

come in, please

take off your shoes


may is so cute...

You can bring her after school anyday

thank you

come in

may, your sister's here to pick you up

it's so hot...

And the clouds are dancing


May, your sister's here to pick you up

but we haven't finished the story


But it's late

you should go home with your sister

must I?

May, can you come tomorrow?

Hmm... I don't know

tell your sister to bring you here, okay?


I hope so


Look! Sheet and fish are dancing


May's adjusting pretty well

it's a good thing

don't worry too much

may is still your may

and you are her only sister


You have me

I'm here

you know that?

You're not alone. I'm here

I'm off to school!



Hello? Yes?


She came here after school


it's okay

don't worry about it


She's taking a nap

don't worry

I'll watch her do her homework

no, there's no problem at all

I'm so glad to have her here



Hello, Diego?

I'm doing my homework

you want to talk to sis?

She's in the bathroom

okay, I'll tell her

see you

If you two want to date

just get out of my sight

don't do it here

Attack! Attack!

Where's the phone? Wasn't it here?


please help me find the phone

you made me lose the game!

Why can't you do anything on your own?

Are you waiting for Diego's call?

She said she'd meet you at the temple


Oh, Diego!

Where's your sister?

She's out but she'll be back soon

wanna play a game with me?


let's play street fighting. It's fun


I'm sure I'll beat you!

Damn it!

Didn't you tell her I'm coming?

She knew

where did she go?

To the temple

the temple?

Who took her there?

She went by herself

by herself?

It's okay. She knows the way

but today is different

Excuse me, can you tell me...

Where the temple is?

The temple?

It's just there! Why bother me?


Sis, you're back!

You know your sister can't see!

How dare you do this to her!

Don't you know she could have died?

I didn't know there was a temple fair

so it's ok to throw her
out on the street

even if you don't care about your sis

you don't have to act like that!

That's enough

you are so mean!

I hate both of you!

I hate both of you!


May... why are you here?

They're on the same side

nobody wants me!

Don't say that

mommy cares about you so much

come. Let's go inside

I'll take good care of may

you don't have to worry

but I have one small request

I mean...

Until may grows up...

I hope you...

Could stop seeing her

I know this sounds cruel

please don't take it in the wrong way

I just think...

Your way of living...

Isn't good for a child

since I can give her a better life

I hope...

You could agree to this

Please accept this condition


There is the fragrance of flowers

there has always been...

The fragrance of flowers

here ..

Sis, where are we singing today?

Sing with me today, okay, may?



There is the fragrance of flowers

there has always been...

The fragrance of flowers

here ..

Still feeling sleepy

hurry, or you'll miss the school bus


Diego wants to lead you

I ove is love

it doesn't matter
whether I love a boy or a girl

You're kind and polite as always

may is my daughter

of course I'll take good care of her

why isn't she home from school yet?

Does she always come home this late?

May has boarded
at school since senior high

and you know...

She just got admitted into college

all these years...

Jing has been missing her sister

I understand


you're back

is it may?



She's no longer "little" may anymore

we've been waiting for you

I've also been waiting for you to return

Wind whispered softly

softly through my skin

I laughed softly

laughing at my devotion

wishing our bride and groom wealth

a happy marriage and a healthy son


Thank you

Excuse me

time to change the dress



how beautiful you are!

The cheek of it!

How dare you kiss my bride?

It's our turn

Let's show them real passion

what are you doing here?

This is your wedding

why aren't you sitting with the guests?

It's our wedding

but she's my bride

I'll let you be the groom

I et her wear this

haven't you changed your dress yet?

The guests are waiting for you

okay, okay...

Hurry up!



Hey, who are you?

I I am...

I am Lily's husband

really? You're lying

it's true. I'm her husband

I've never seen you before

I can prove it

This is my health insurance card

there's no madam listed

I et me check...

This is my ID card

look at the spouse listed...

It says I'm her husband

I can't read Chinese

do you have any photos of madam?



Madam can speak?!


why are you so sick?

You've finally come back

didn't she stop talking 1 month ago?

Yeah, I thought she was mute

Lily, what are you doing?

Where's the nurse?

I sent her away

since you're back,

I don't need her

but I'm...

Hold the chair. Hurry

Why hang a black and white photo?

You think it's artistic?

Let's put up a color picture of you

but that's ocean...


you should unpack your luggage

and don't go running off again

I don't want any more medicine

yen, these are just side effects
just bear with it

to hell with cocktail therapy!

Be patient


Okay. Later

I ater

ok. I see

Ocean, look!

It's the squirrel we fed yesterday

Let's go buy some more bread

ocean, let's go

ocean has gone

and, Lily, we never fed any squirrel!

What do you mean by "gone"?

No one stays forever. You know that!

Everyone leaves eventually

ocean has gone

I'm yen

I just came back to see an old friend

I'm leaving again tomorrow

Lily, I'll ask the nurse to come back


You said you'd always be with me

Dear John, I'll always be here

waiting for you. Love, Mark.

Someone's waiting for you, right?

While you're waiting for me to die?

It can be controlled
if you just take your pills

what's the point of taking these pills?

To be your burden?

Why you have to abandon yourself?!

Where's my suitcase?

What... what suitcase?

Stop playing games!

Why did you hide my suitcase?

You think I won't leave without it?

Where are you going?

None of your business


Stupid old woman

what do you care where I go!

Where am I going...?

I have no idea what is this place?


Where have you gone?

Hello. Looking for John?


John, a withheld call

do you want to take it?

Who is it?


hello, John speaking


Who is it?

Probably just a hoax call

forget it



Where did she go?

Why hasn't she come back yet?

Officer, excuse me

someone has gone missing

What's your relationship with Lily yeh?


I'm her husband

ocean, don't be so frank in public

sorry, officer

she's my good friend

she's just here to pick me up

please sign here

don't let her cross the bridge by herself

it's not safe

Are you sick?



I've lived long enough

don't know what to live for anymore

this is a follow-up appointment sheet

I'll go with you

why do you hide things there

you taught me this!

Put important things here...

So that they won't get lost

This is Mr. Chang yen's report

thank you

Why has your cd4 count...

Dropped from 350 to 2007

haven't you been taking your pills?

The side effects...

Are really unbearable

but if it drops below 200...

Your body can't fight off sickness

you're his family, right?

I'll adjust his medicine...

But please be supportive


Acquired immune... syndrome

what is this disease?

An incurable one

will you die?

Yes, if I fall sick

so you must take your pills

how painful it is to take them!

I get nauseous and throw up

it's sheer torture!

Why do I have to suffer so much?

Life has no meaning anymore

why not?

I'm here, aren't I!

Don't you know you're sick too?

Of course I know

you always tell me to take my pills

sometimes you're so clearheaded!


And I recall the past really well



Do you want to take a walk?


Why are you wearing that?

Doesn't it look good?

It's too formal

no, it's not

you should wear something pretty

I'll take you out for a nice meal

you look handsome in that shirt

but you bound your breasts so flat

you look like a man


I'm in the mood for dressing up

I won't change

others will say you're a "butch"

they'll criticize you behind your back

if my father hears any rumor...

We'll get into trouble

your father?

Your father died a long time ago

how come dad stopped visiting me?


He always shows up unexpectedly

you'd better know your place

Why did you turn me into a woman?

Are you angry?

Never mind. Do what you like

I don't have long to live anyway

what's the difference?

What are you grumbling about?


do whatever you want

Is that a man? It's really weird!

Looks like a sex pervert

I et's have some fun with him


hey, pervert!

Just you, sissy!

Upset? Come on, hit me

what's with you, little punks!

Just ignore them

what are you looking at?

She's furious!

Hey, pervert!

You little punks...

Let your grandma give you a lesson!

The pervert is coming

go to hell! Cut your bullshit!

Sissy! Do you wear any bra?


(So check his bra.

You... stop it!

Somebody help us!

What's with that fucking dress?

It's gross

hey! Stop it! Get away!

The old woman is angry.

You little punks!

(Set lost!

Are you okay?

It's all your fault!

Go away

it wouldn't have happened

if it wasn't for you

It's all because of me

From the very beginning

I should never

have asked you to be with me

Lily, wait up! Wait for me

Where am I going?

I don't know where I'm going


Where are you?

"My name is Lily yeh. I have Alzheimer's.
In emergencies, contact:”

"Yen Chang"

Are you a grandpa or a grandma?

Baby, it's rude to ask!

I'm sorry

I have a present for you

is it pretty?

Don't take it off




Let's be together, okay?


What are you laughing at?

Why did you talk about being together?

Because you're my best friend

what makes us best friends?

Because you're like a girl


alright. I'm sorry

it's no big deal


It'd be perfect if you were a boy

June said the same thing...

And then she got a real boyfriend

so that's why you're down?

I just don't know if I...

If I count as a girl?

You're actually not sure?

Are you a boy or a girl?


Boy or girl?

A girl!


how about we give it another shot?

No way! You idiot!

You're annoying!

And you're an idiot!

Testing, 1... 2... 3...

This is the ru zhen yuen troupe

mic testing...

Diego! Diego!

Come to the temple if you hear this

over! Over!

They're gonna get you!

It's my granduncle

you're really leaving now?

Diego, hurry to the temple!

Damn, still in my uniform. See youl!

Do you hear me?

This is your granduncle. Over!


where's my brother?

Just do as you're told

don't ask why

I was just asking...

Are you blind?

Didn't you see him fixing the speaker?

Hey, bro

Diego's puppet show is pretty good

she's no worse than you

Mom, I'm back


Wait a second!

It's too hot. I'm going to shower

hold on!

I've got something for you


Diego, just wait!


Never wear the clothes I bought you

do you want to remain a child forever?

I don't want to wear this. It's pink!

Pink is pretty

it's weird!

What should we do with you?

Why aren't they growing?!

Okay, okay

I'll put it on myself

don't forget to wear it

and don't leave them just lying around

This one is so Lacy!

(Gosh, so huge!

It's gross!


Your granduncle decided that...

Next year, after you're married

and Diego graduates from high school

we'll divide the theatre troupe into two

each of you can lead your own troupe

both of you can be independent

Mom, am I hearing this right?

I've never heard of any girl
getting an inheritance

don't say that!

Diego's different

how so?

To be honest...

I'm worried about her

you know...

Your sister is that kind of...

I know

she's a "butch", isn't she?

That's why we must provide for her future

that would be better

mom, you'd better think this through

I'm the one that will
worship our ancestors

and bear you grandsons

our family business is getting harder


How can two troupes...

Compete in one small village?

Diego, why aren't you wearing...

The bra I bought you yesterday?

It's too big

what's too big?

Makes me look too big!

It's disgusting. I'm not wearing that!

When a girl grows up...

She's supposed to wear a bra

have my brother wear it!

You little brat!

You're so stubborn!

They're not calling you today?

My mom had me quit the puppet show


She said it's old-fashioned

and now it's the electronic age

she wants me to learn the electric piano

what do you want to eat?

But today...

There's a trendy new puppet show

what's to look at?

They have a "special" performance!

Not like your show


With a hot chick!

Hot chick?!

Hot chick like me!

Like you! I'm not interested


Welcome, welcome

thank you for coming tonight

so many people...

On such an auspicious day

we're here to celebrate the birthday

of god of the five mansions

a series of spectacular shows...

Will soon begin!

Welcome, welcome

now we introduce...

Our troupe's showgirl

my pretty daughter, miss Lily

our best leading lady


She'll introduce herself
with a lovely song

thank you!

Let's give her a round of applause!

Chu chu train

the train is setting off

I'm getting out of this town

can't stop my tears

the train marches on without regret

The train marches on without regret

look! Now that's a good puppet show

It's an honor to be here today

thank you for coming

whoever comes onstage
and sings with me...

I'll give my father's troupe to him!

No way, baby girl!

You can't give my troupe away

that's how we earn our living

you have to fend for me
if you give it away

I'm warning you

well, since my dad won't give it away

let me think of another reward

whoever comes onstage...

I'll give him this puppet!

Okay, okay

I et's see

hey, youngster! Handsome!

Yes, I'm talking to you!

Come up here!

Don't be shy!

Help make way!

Chu chu train

the train is setting off

I'm getting out of this town

can't stop my tears

the train marches on without regret

goodbye, goodbye, my hometown

swallow my sadness

no one knows my sorrow

the train marches on without regret

standing beside the window alone

grief from my past rushes by

the story untold, only I know

only, only tears fall

goodbye, goodbye, my hometown

my heart's adrift

my brain's in a haze

the train marches on without regret

youngster! Give us a solo!

Let's hear your applause!

The train marches on without regret

The train marches on without regret

standing beside the window alone

grief from my past rushes by

the story untold, only I know

only, only tears fall

goodbye, goodbye, my hometown

my heart's adrift my brain's in a haze

the train marches on without regret

Why are you here all alone?

No audience

you need to try something different

look at the other troupe!

Hot chick!

Her clothes nearly fell off her!

Like ice cream to my eyes!

I've been watching your show for years

I'm really your number one fan

but you've got to get with the times!

Thank you

Why bring this kid's toy back?

You can't do your show well...

And refuse to let your sister play

it is for her sake

but you know what she did today?

She helped another troupe's show

and competed with our own troupe

Diego went to see how others make a living

otherwise how can
our show keep up with the world?

They keep up with the world

because they have a pretty daughter

who makes money for her family

you know our Diego?

Ask her...

If she's a boy or a girl?

How can a brother say such things!

I et me be clear

if you get married

I'll prepare a generous dowry for you

but don't even think about

getting any family property


Hello, June?

This is Diego

I have something to tell you

I have something to tell you too!


I went to movie with hua yesterday!

It was so much fun!

In the middle of the film,

he leaned over

I was so nervous!

Then he held my hand...

And kissed me on the mouth!

Oh my god!

We'll walk home together after school

I wonder if he'll hold my hand again

what do you think”? Diego!

So your real hair's short?


Can't I wear a wig”?

What's onstage is only a show

what's wrong?

I had a quarrel with a friend

The one in the audience?

Why keep flirting with me then?!

You did that on purpose

you think I enjoyed it?

That's just what we do on stage

some performance!

I can't

but if you don't do such performances...

Who would want to invite your troupe

Did you quarrel with someone too?

Otherwise, why fool around?

It's all your fault

how come?

My family has a troupe too

my bro thinks I should perform like you

I ike me?

Hey, that's dangerous!

Don't grab at them!


How is that possible!

This way!

Do you want to kiss me?

I can't take off my clothes

don't you like girls?

I don't like the way I am

you don't like being a girl?

But I don't want to be a boy either

I don't know...

Am I a boy or a girl?

Of course, a girl!

A girl who doesn't like her body


Can a girl love a girl?

Of course she can

I ove is love


Would you like a showgirl like me?

Of course

would you like a tomboy like me?

That's always been my type

then there's nothing to worry about

What will become of us?

I think I'll leave home.

I can't leave the troupe

I'm the only daughter in my family

our troupe belongs to my brother

I want to live by myself

and then...

Find a girl I love

and I want to find someone

who can love me