Herald rating: * * * *

At the end of this wise, moving and often funny documentary, Auckland filmmaker Liang says she told her story because she wanted to hear it, and she wants to hear others like it.

Who wouldn't? Liang does her film a disservice by saying others' stories would be more extraordinary but the remark touches on its utterly down-to-earth appeal.

A first-generation New Zealander, Liang is the daughter of Chinese parents (as the film explains, "banana" is slang for an Asian who has grown up in the West and who is white on the inside). A childhood high-achiever, she scandalised her parents by turning her back on medical school in favour of filmmaking.

This film explores that cultural generation gap by following Liang and her white boyfriend Stephen as he prepares to ask her parents (who never appear) for their daughter's hand.

At times, the tension is unbearable but, as Liang grapples with the puzzlement and pain of her relationship with her parents, she is not afraid to foreground her own process. The result is a generous, intelligent, brave film, comprehensive and personal, specific and universal. As an artefact of our multicultural society, it's a gem.

The film is paired with Zia Mandviwalla's short film Eating Sausage, which uses swimming as a sleek metaphor for the taboo-busting adventurousness of a Korean immigrant woman.

DIRECTOR: Roseanne Liang
RATING: PG, some adult themes