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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Ba Ma Bu Zai Jia" )


directed by Anthony Chen
Singapore 2013


Set during the 1997 Asian financial crisis, ILO ILO is the story of touching bond that forms between a Filipino maid far away from home and the troubled (and trouble-making) young son of her middle class Singaporean employers. Worried about her future employment as she types termination letters of her co-workers for her boss, heavily-pregnant administrative assistant Hwee Leng (Yann Yann Yeo, LOVE MATTERS) decides that she needs assistance at home to contend with the housework as well as her ill-behaved young son Jialer (Jialer Koh) who is constantly getting into trouble at school. Despite the uncertainty of her position at work, Hwee Leng can at least depend on the stable sales job of her husband Teck (TV actor Tian Wen Chen); while she discourages his ambitions to go into business for himself, she is unaware of the money he has lost in the stock market and the precariousness of his own job. Missing his beloved late grandfather, Jialer does not react well to the arrival of Filipino maid Terry (Angeli Bayani, NORTE, THE END OF HISTORY) – who his mother encourages he call her "Auntie" despite her own condescending and cold attitude towards the girl – especially when he learns that she is to share his room. Far away from her own infant son who is in the care of her sister, Terry does not feel at home in this new family but finds herself nevertheless keeping their secrets from one another if only to keep the peace (including Jialer's attempt to get her arrested by planting merchandise in her bag at a store). With his mother concerned about her own job and perhaps knowing more about her husband's predicament than he believes she does (including the loss of his job which he conceals by taking temporary positions and night shifts), Jialer has only Terry to turn to with his problems at school and soon a loving bond forms between them - which further alienates mother and son - that is soon threatened as the economic crisis continues to take its toll upon the household.

Eric Cotenas



Theatrical Release: 29 August 2013 (Singapore)

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DVD Review: Film Movement - Region 1 - NTSC

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

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Film Movement

Region 1 - NTSC

Runtime 1:39:24

1.85:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.14 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio Mandarin/Tagalog/English/Hokkien Dolby Digital 5.1; Mandarin/Tagalog/English/Hokkien Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo
Subtitles English, English (CC), none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Film Movement

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.85:1

Edition Details:
• Behind the Scenes (16:9; 22:56)
• Theatrical Trailer (16:9; 2:00)
• Biographies
• Bonus short film 'Blik' by Bastiaan Schravendeel (16:9; 8:33)
• Trailers for '2 Autumns, 3 Winters', 'Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?', 'Tanta Agua', 'The Piano in
• a Factory', 'Off White Lies', and 'Be With Me'

DVD Release Date: September 16th, 2014

Chapters 12



Shot with the Arri Alexa and Red cameras, ILO ILO has some deliberately hazy shots but in general has an overall softish look as if to try to make the digital image look more "filmic". Edge enhancement is evident but not intrusive. The Dolby Digital 5.1 track is restrained with the surrounds adding subtle background sounds in the interior apartment scenes and more in the exteriors and mall sequences (a 2.0 downmix is also available). The optional English subtitles are free of errors and translate the Mandarin and Tagalog dialogue while English closed-captioning translates the foreign dialogue and transcribes the intermittent English.

The behind the scenes featurette is composed of interviews and candid comments during the film's Cannes premiere. Director Anthony Chen talks about the basis of the story (he was raised by a Filipino maid as were many middle class kids of his generation and saw her as a second mother) and the casting. The actors comment on their roles and Yann Yann Yeo recalls the problems that arose when she told Chen that she had become pregnant in the interim between casting and shooting and that she could still do the role. The disc also includes biographies, the film's trailer, an animated short, and trailers for six other Film Movement releases including the already-covered 2 AUTUMNS, 3 WINTERS, TANTA AGUA, and WILL YOU STILL LOVE ME TOMORROW?.

  - Eric Cotenas


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Film Movement

Region 1 - NTSC




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