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Eat a Bowl of Tea

Eat a Bowl of Tea

Eat a Bowl of Tea is a 1989 film directed by Wayne Wang based on the novel of the same name by Louis Chu.

Plot

The story begins with exposition of the difficult lives of the first generation of male Chinese-American immigrants who were not allowed to bring their wives and families with them into the United States due to the Chinese Exclusion Act. For decades, these immigrant men have not seen their families they had left back in China. Ben (Russell Wong) is the son of one these immigrants and has just finished serving in the U.S. Army during World War II. Due to the G.I. Bill, he is allowed to bring a bride back from China which he does after an arranged marriage. Mei Oi (Cora Miao), the bride, besides being attracted to Ben also wants to see her father in the U.S., who emigrated to the States before she was born. As one of the first couples of child-bearing age within Chinatown, Ben and Mei Oi have to deal with the expectations of the entire Chinatown community as well as his father (Victor Wong). But the pressures on Ben render him impotent, and in her confusion over his seeming lack of interest, Mei Oi succumbs to the attentions of Ah Song (Eric Tsang). Their affair creates complications not only for their own marriage, but for the reputations of their fathers in the close-knit "bachelor society" of New York's Chinatown.