Combination Platter

Director: Tony Chan
Screenwriters: Edwin Baker, Tony Chan

Institute History

  • 1993 Sundance Film Festival


Tony Chan's debut feature, Combination Platter, is a portrait of Chinese illegal immigrants who are caught between two cultures, but belong to neither. Robert, the leading character in this gentle and affectionate film, is a waiter from Hong Kong working in a Chinese restaurant. He is also an illegal immigrant who finds it difficult to adapt to New York because of his background and his alien status.

Shot In English, Cantonese and Mandarin, Combination Platter elegantly chronicles Robert's trial of errors in obtaining his green card and finding a bride. Set in the confined confusion of a Chinese neighborhood, the film follows Robert's search amidst a background of hectic everyday restaurant life: a round of dealing with other waiters, the incorrect dishes from the kitchen and the always-unsatisfied customers.

Chan has created an honest and realistic slice of the life of an illegal immigrant. Shot with subtlety and economy, the film not only depicts the dynamics within the hierarchy of the restaurant, with all its duties and responsibilities, but also examines the racial interaction between the groups which live and work in the neighborhood. Combination Platter is a riveting picture of the people who live in the melting pot.

Saturday Jan 23 4:00 pm
Egyptian Theatre

Monday Jan 25 7:15 pm
Holiday Village Cinema II

Wednesday Jan 21 10:15 pm
Holiday Village Cinema II

Friday Jan 29 1:30 pm
Holiday Village Cinema III


— Norman Wang

Screening Details

Sundance Film Festival Awards

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