Chinese Laundry, a Tala Lee-Turton Production, directed and choreographed by Patricia Zhou, is a short dance film about a British Chinese immigrant experience of trying to fit in. The film retells a story Tala hears from her Chinese family, second generation immigrants from Hong Kong who grew up in South Yorkshire, in a Barnsley takeaway shop.

The film is set in a dry cleaners, a business set up by Tala’s father when he was her age now, and frequently segues into an escapist dreamscape in the expansive vastness of the Peak District. This reflects the cyclical banality and frustration experienced from within the daily grind of the dry cleaners, contrasting with aspirations to feel freely Chinese and British and part of the richness that is the surrounding geography.

Chinese Laundry seeks to share its immigrant story as one of many in a fantastical visual celebration of multifaceted South Yorkshire life. It explores the act of listening to stories passed down through families so that we may carry past generations’ heritage with us.

Premiered on 11th March 2022 at We Wonder Noir festival at Wentworth Woodhouse.

Creative producer – Tala Lee-Turton

Director and choreography – Patricia Zhou

DOP – Arthur Loveday

Dancer – Tala Lee-Turton

Editor – Patricia Zhou

Colourist – Sofie Borup

Stylist – Chelsey Clarke

Creative consultant – Rebecca Zhou, Jas Rewkiewicz

Production adviser – Sara Turton

Location scout – Helen Brown

Special thanks to RELOAD, We Wonder Noir, Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust, Rockingham House Cosmetic and Implant Dentistry, Angie McMahon, Tom Lee.