Chinese Ghost Wedding

Institute History

  • 2001 June Screenwriters Lab


May Wong, a dying Chinese mother, searches out a fortune teller to find out why she can't find a husband for her daughter, Ling. The fortune teller tells her that her family's horoscope requires her to first marry off her elder son Peng—even though he has been dead for four years.

Though Ling is dismissive of her mother's belief in the old world traditions, May is convinced she must follow the gods' will. She enlists the help of 11-year-old medium/matchmaker who specializes in ghost weddings. he arranges a wife-picking ceremony, whereby Peng can select his wife by placing a gold ring on the street in such a way that only his intended will spot it and pick it up. May's already frantic world is thrown into complete turmoil when Peng's ring is retrieved by a Caucasian, male police officer.

Despite her misgivings, May presses on, determined to fulfill her son's ghost's apparent wishes. to Ling's horror, May devises an elaborate plot to marry the ghost of the unsuspecting policeman. Her plans ultimately reveal surprising secrets about her son's life, death, and the cop he chose to wear his ring.

Chinese Ghost Wedding is an introduction to a whole new world of fighting ghosts, strange beliefs, and Chinese mythology. While fantastical on the surface, it is a human story at heart. It is about how one woman deals with her son's death by escaping into the world of the supernatural. It is about a daughter's struggle to understand her mother's unconventional ways. It is about tradition and superstition versus practicality, reality versus fantasy, the rich versus the poor, and how one transcends discrimination and homophobia in a chaotic urban society.


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