Set in London, "Lilting" stars Ben Whishaw as Richard, a man who attempts to connect with Junn (Pei-Pei Cheng), the Chinese-Cambodian mother of the recently deceased Kai (Andrew Leung), his boyfriend of over four years. Despite language barriers and Junn's obliviousness to her late son's sexuality, Richard is persistent on reaching out to a woman who can understand his love and grief.
In an interview with BBC America, Khaou spoke about Whishaw's role as Richard: "His character is constantly carrying this grief, and it's such a difficult thing to carry throughout the entire film. It was really important to get the right actor who has that. He's a phenomenal actor." The Cambodian-born British director also revealed that his mother partly inspired the story. "We have lived in Britain for over 30 years—to this day she still doesn’t speak English — I took that idea and ran with it."
"Lilting," which won the Cinematography Award at this year's Sundance, is due on August 8 in the U.K. A U.S. release for the film (which will be distributed by Strand Releasing), however, has yet to be announced. The trailer for the film is quite moving and offers us a scenario about humanity and communication that should be interesting to see unfold.