In Theaters 04.04.2014 or Watch at Home 09.16.2014

Ilo Ilo

Directed by Anthony Chen
Film Movement
99 Minutes
Mandarin, Tagalog, English
Coming of Age, Asian, Drama
Not Rated

Set in Singapore during the 1997 Asian financial crisis. Ilo Ilo chronicles the day-to-day drama of the Lim family - troublesome grade-schooler Jiale and his overstressed parents, Heck and Leng. Comfortably middleclass and with another baby on the way, they hire Teresa, a Filipino immigrant, as a live-in maid and nanny. An outsider in both the family and Singapore itself, Teresa initially struggles to manage Jiale's antics and find her footing in her new community. The two eventually form a unique bond, but just as Teresa becomes an unspoken part of the family, unforeseen circumstances in an uncertain economy will challenge the new normal yet again.

Director & Cast

  • Director: Anthony Chen
  • Starring: Yeo Yann Yann
  • Starring: Chen Tianwen
  • Starring: Angeli Bayani
  • Starring: Koh Jia Ler




  • "Anthony Chen’s portrait of a family in 1997 Singapore is one of those rare films that manages to capture an entire period within an intimate slice of life. Beautifully acted and precisely observed, Ilo Ilo is an amazing debut, full of heart and intelligence. "
    Ang Lee, Oscar-winning director
  • "A small gem about how families learn to persevere during the toughest times...Its emotional wallop sneaks up on you!"
    Tim Grierson, ScreenDaily
  • "The very beating heart and soul of cinematic storytelling."
    Robert Koehler, Film Comment
  • "CRITIC'S PICK. This remarkably terse movie doesn’t waste a word or an image. It refuses to linger over each little crisis its characters endure. And its detachment lends a perspective that widens the film’s vision of people reacting to events beyond their control. "
    Stephen Holden, The New York Times