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.

Cannes Film Festival 2013 – Winner, Camera d’Or
Toronto International Film Festival 2013

“The very beating heart and soul of cinematic storytelling.” —Robert Koehler, Film Comment

“An amazing debut, full of heart and intelligence.” —Ang Lee

“Immensely likeable… genuinely moving.” —Maggie Lee, Variety

“A small gem about how families learn to persevere during the toughest of times… its emotional wallop sneaks up on you.” —Tim Grierson, Screen Daily

  • Directed By Anthony Chen
  • 2013
  • Singapore
  • Mandarin, Tagalog, and English with English subtitles
  • DCP
  • 99 minutes