Frameline46: Fragrance of the First Flower
Fragrance of the First Flower is a love story all too relatable for many, one that has societal expectations and internalized homophobia as its main antagonists—but Angel I-Han Tang crafts it into one with uplift and hope. This Taiwanese romance follows Yi-Ming, a young woman whose desire to live within the traditional bounds has left her in a stifling marriage with a rigid husband. She attends a same-sex wedding and is reunited with her first and only queer love, Ting Ting.
In flashbacks, we see their budding romance and Yi-Ming’s fear that broke them apart, while in the present, we see Yi-Ming challenged anew by Ting Ting’s freer approach to finding happiness and what it would mean to upheave the “normal” life she has tried to achieve. Originally formatted as six-episode limited series and now assembled in an emotionally wrought 103-minute feature, Fragrance of the First Flower is about second chances and redirecting ourselves away from the paths we believe we are required to follow.