Bitter Melon (2018)

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Movie Info

Bitter Melon is the third feature film from filmmaker H.P. Mendoza (Colma: The Musical, Fruit Fly, I Am a Ghost). It is the story of a Filipino-American family who reunites for a Christmas party at the family home in San Francisco only to find out that Troy, the second oldest child, has been ruling the house with fear-intimidating everyone who lives there-including his mother, and even physically abusing his wife. What starts as a fun holiday reunion turns into a darkly humorous crime scene as Declan, the youngest son, leads the family as they conspire on how to best murder the violent and abusive Troy.

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Critic Reviews for Bitter Melon

All Critics (6) | Top Critics (3)

The movie grinds to a halt in its final third as the characters talk things out, which might be helpful in life but in drama tends to belabor the obvious, as well as offer an easy exit.

Dec 6, 2018 | Full Review…

An intriguing and absorbing independent film...

Dec 4, 2018 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Domestic violence and black comedy don't seem a natural match, but to an impressive degree "Bitter Melon" pulls off their shotgun marriage.

May 18, 2018 | Full Review…
Variety
Top Critic

Only a brilliant and gifted director can manage to make grueling topics like domestic abuse mesh well with dry humor and dramedy.

Nov 3, 2018 | Rating: 8 | Full Review…

Mendoza adroitly sneaks in other messages, such as thoughtful discussions of both racism and effeminacy in the gay community. The cast is uniformly strong with Schneider particularly appealing as Declan, the perhaps-not-so-moral center of the family.

Oct 19, 2018 | Full Review…

There are scenes of utter brilliance and honesty, then clunky scenes of melodrama the next. The plot that exemplifies why we love independent cinema. We are off the rails where anything could happen and the story is at once cliché and bracingly original.

Sep 17, 2018 | Rating: 5/10 | Full Review…

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