Film-maker Sean Wang and his grandmothers Chang Li hua, 86, and Yi Yan Fuei, 97, have had a big few months. Wang's short documentary about the duo, in-laws who are also housemates and best friends akin to sisters, has swept through awards season and is up for an Academy Award. "I've never dreamed of anything like this. It's like I've been to another world," said Yi. The 17-minute film, Nǎi Nai and Wài Pó, offers a glimpse of the simple but full life of Yi, who is Wang's Nǎi Nai (Mandarin for paternal grandmother), and Chang, who is his Wài Pó (maternal grandmother). They raised their families in Taiwan, experiencing the extreme hardship of poverty and war and decades of martial law. Earlier this century they followed their sons to the US, settling in California's Bay Area. The filming happened in the spring of 2021, during the pandemic and amid worsening racist violence against Asian people in the US; Wang was motivated to humanize people like his grandmothers. "Before the film I felt like we were old and useless, but after filming we realized there's still a lot we can do, we can be characters in movies, still be functional people in society," Chang said.

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