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11 November 2020

Lights of love.

by Syd Briscoe

Disney: “From Our Family to Yours” - 3 mins

Christmas in the Philippines is celebrated to varying degrees from September to January, and is one of the most significant cultural events in the country. This touching outing from Disney taps into those rich traditions and more for Christmas 2020 - encompassing inter-generational affection, worldwide diaspora, and keeping one's memories alive. Quite a task for the House of Mouse.

What could easily become a busy narrative is deftly handled by director Laban Dickinson, who follows the connecting thread of parols (traditional lanterns) and a gifted doll through the years. From the 1940s up to the present day, it's a beautifully-constructed examination of how culture and customs transcend geography and, instead, live in those who maintain them.

The emotional relationship between grandmother and granddaughter is delicately drawn too, as age and outside concerns threaten to erode their close bond. Thankfully there's a heartwarming resolution - one which will resonate strongly with every third culture kid in the audience. Christmas may be at a distance this year, but this film is proof that physical location doesn't have to get in the way of joy.

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