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Mei Mei, A Daughter's Song

From: Dmae Roberts
Length: 26:35

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Winner of the Peabody award, MEI MEI, A DAUGHTER'S SONG is the personal story of cross-cultural and cross-generational conflict produced by Dmae Roberts.

Meicover1_small "Mei Mei" is a 25 minute documentary that chronicles Dmae and her mother, Chu-Yin, as they travel to Taiwan together. Mei Mei is Chinese for "little sister" -- a term of endearment for any younger girl. First produced in 1989, Mei Mei was highly personal and groundbreaking for its time--interweaving interviews and dramatizations to tell the story of a conflicted daughter and her mother who suffered abuse, starvation and the horrors of World War Two. MEI MEI has been broadcast on NPR, the BBC, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Piece Description

"Mei Mei" is a 25 minute documentary that chronicles Dmae and her mother, Chu-Yin, as they travel to Taiwan together. Mei Mei is Chinese for "little sister" -- a term of endearment for any younger girl. First produced in 1989, Mei Mei was highly personal and groundbreaking for its time--interweaving interviews and dramatizations to tell the story of a conflicted daughter and her mother who suffered abuse, starvation and the horrors of World War Two. MEI MEI has been broadcast on NPR, the BBC, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

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Review of Mei Mei, A Daughter's Song

Brilliant piece that stands on its own, but is also part of a series that includes The Journey of the Lady Buddha and Memorial. Mei Mei is a classic that I've listened to many times and still enjoy. In my humble opinion as just an ordinary listener, this is possibly the best audio work that has ever been recorded.

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Review of Mei Mei, A Daughter's Song

This piece I believe may be amongst that small number of programmes that are recognized by name, by reputation.
Beautifully produced it is, movingly written, but the parts that moved me the most were those short glimpses of the mother daughter relationship during their interview sessions - I wanted more, and then thought that they were so skimpy on the ground perhaps because of the very lack of communication that is a central theme of the programme. So thin because perhaps there just wasn't more tape. Because mother and daughter have stopped speaking to each other.
It's a lovely tale that serves both to show the unlimited stretch of radiophonic techniques and also because it resonates with anyone who has a love hate relationship with a family member. Mother and daughter are divided by culture, by history, by changing times - they live parallel lives of dreams and hopes for the other, knowing they can never be the fulfillment of the other's projection. But in the end, they love each other because there's no choice.

Broadcast History

Aired on Soundprint, NPR's All Things Considered, BBC, CBC and Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Transcript

MEI MEI:

A DAUGHTER?S SONG

a radio documentary

by Dmae Roberts

Copyright ? 1990 by Dmae Roberts. All rights reserved. No part of this documentary may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews. For information contact Dmae Roberts, 104 SE 57th, Portland, Oregon 97215. (503) 233-2919

Mei Mei: A Daughter?s Song
By Dmae Roberts

Dmae:
Just remember, this isn?t about me. It?s about my mother. About growing up with her. Just remember that.

Sound: street chatter, park sounds in different languages

Dmae:
Mother and I took a trip to Taiwan together, my birthplace and hers. I thought it would make us closer, help me understand her better, but the fights got bigger, more intense and now we don?t speak to each other.

I don?t know when I started calling her...
Read the full transcript

Musical Works

Original music by Dave Pasche.

Related Website

http://www.mediarites.org/store_meimei.htm