Yellow Rose Image

Yellow Rose

By Alan Ng | October 8, 2020

NEW IN THEATERS! Squarely dropped right into the middle of the immigration debate comes Diane Paragas’ Yellow Rose and what it means to be an American hiding in plain sight. The titular Rose (Eva Noblezada) is a 17-year-old undocumented Filipina teen. After school, she sits in her room at the motel where her mother works and plays the guitar, sings, and writes. Not too shabby, she’s a good performer on all fronts.

The always worried Priscilla (Princess Punzalan), Rose’s mother, keeps her sheltered for her own protection. That is until a boy, Elliot (Liam Booth), asks Rose out on a “date” to see famed country singer Dale Watson (as himself) at a bar in Austin. Telling her mother, he’s taking her to church, Rose’s road trip to Austin is a go. Mesmerized by the music and bar atmosphere, Rose’s destiny with country music is all but solidified.

Upon returning home, ICE agents have raided the motel, and Rose’s mother is arrested and scheduled for deportation. Priscilla tells Rose to stay with her close but estranged friend Gail (Lea Salonga) in Austin. Knowing she’s not wanted there by Gail’s husband, Rose leaves and moves into the bar’s backroom from the night before, thanks to the kindness of its owner Jolene (Libby Villari). While there, Jolene and Dale mentor the young budding country star, yet her illegal status in the U.S. still hangs over her head.

“After school, she sits in her room at the motel where her mother works and plays the guitar, sings, and writes.“

Yellow Rose is a story of hope, opportunity, and comment on the current immigration crisis, all wrapped up in the story of Rose, played wonderfully by Eva Noblezada. Stepping back from the film a bit, the film is solidly Asian (specifically a Filipino story) and very much American—you don’t get much more American than with country music.

Yellow Rose (2020)

Directed: Diane Paragas

Written: Annie J. Howell, Diane Paragas

Starring: Eva Noblezada, Princess Punzalan, Liam Booth, Libby Villari, Dale Watson, Lea Salonga, etc.

Movie score: 7.5/10

Yellow Rose Image

"…Nobelzada can actually sing and beautifully too."

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  1. Pressebeth Gesmundo says:

    I want to see this film. Where can I see this?

  2. Julian says:

    Just watched it at CAAM Fest. It’s amazing. Do you have any idea how to access the music?

  3. Ben says:

    Great review, I can’t wait to see the film. Please fix the typo “Not to shabby” – Not too shabby.

  4. Lonnie Spiker says:

    I’ve got to see this… sounds incredible.

    • Chris Gore says:

      It’s on the festival circuit now (check it out there) and we have an interview with the director coming soon.

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