The film Saving Face is about representing one self’s identity. There are three motifs that allow this transformation; transportation, face and time. The central motif in the film Saving Face is transportation, which is centralized with face and time because they explain the character’s change of identity.
The motif of face represents the characters’ identity. Saving Face is an expression to keep definition. Face is a motif because face is used repeatedly, especially in close-ups to captivate the person’s identity. In the opening shot, there is a close-up on Wil’s face which she is seen wearing beauty masks to hide her true identity. The beauty mask prevents Wil from expressing her true identity because the face mask shows that Wil is living a life with a false identity. Wil has not accepted herself for her orientation and continues to mask herself because she does not have the courage to take it off. There are also close-ups on Ma’s face which explains how the mother is hiding her identity by living a life that her father requests her to live by. The close-ups on the faces show entrapment of the characters’ because they are not accepting their identity and live by the ones that their family request. The motif face explains how the characters keep an identity that society enforces them to have, not an identity that they would like to be presented by. Face is not the central motif because face explains how the characters change their identity by using transportation. The motif of time represents how time rushes and prevents the characters from making decisions they need to make for their identity. Saving Face presents time as both linear and circular because time continues to progresses in life but there is a repetition of the characters’ being themselves. Time ages for both Wil and Ma to the point that they are running out of time to change their lives that they continue to live repeatedly with everyday. The montage in the film shows how Ma is wasting her time...
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