Canada 23 min. 1997
As many people know, a “banana” is slang for an acculturated Asian who is yellow on the outside but white on the inside. “Tough Bananas” is a film by Chinese Canadian director, Keith Lock, from a nihilistic script written by Andy Xu. The story is about the friendship between two fourteen-year-old boys that comes into existence and blossoms, but is ultimately destroyed by betrayal.
Bob Lin and Ted Wang meet in their schoolyard on a fateful day when Bob is bullied by bigger boys. It is Ted who heroically comes to his rescue, and after that Bob and Ted become close friends. Together they share a string of goofy, dead end misadventures. The boys’ world is a goldfish bowl with a descending food chain and Bob and Ted are unabashed bottom feeders. In “Tough Bananas” power and might rule and parents are not exxempt from the lessons of a hard brutality.
“Unlikely misfits bond together and stand up to the bad guys. They get cool hats. Then due to uptight parents, one betrays the other and joins the bad guys. Can a kid that dumps his Asian bro go the distance alone?” – Andrew Sun, Reel Asian International Film Festival