A bowl of rice causes a rift between the granddaughter and grandmother. She prizes food in her life and gets frustrated when she has to eat food which she doesn’t enjoy. Despite knowing her dislike for rice, her grandmother still continues cooking it. After a long, exhausting day of school, she returns home only to find that her grandmother has cooked rice again. Her irrationality got the better of her and her rash action hurt her grandmother deeply. (sort of based on my personal story, I’m not really a fussy eater but I get frustrated when I have to consume food which I dislike. Thus, I would say my emotions fluctuates based on the food I eat. As someone who has difficulty suppressing or hiding my emotions, I would just vent her anger and as a result act rashly and say or do things to hurt my loved ones.)

As this film unravels how the we often treat our family members the worst and take them for granted as we know that at the end of the day, they would still be there for us. Grains of unappreciated love reveals itself to be a record of the heartaches and frustrations of an ordinary family life that highlights the importance of cherishing familial ties through a subtle illustration of our inability to value the little things and people around us. There is one emotional constant that lingers long after the film ends, Gratitude for the quiet love of our own families.

There isn’t a clear resolution to this film as I felt that there wasn’t a need to include a scene of the granddaughter making up or apologising to the grandmother to show how their relationship is patched up as we know that her family is her constant and they will still be there no matter what. Hence, with the second last frame (zoom in on photo frame held by granddaughter), it suggests that, by hinting that family ties are like water, they won’t separate even if you part them.


Started with this story board but when I started shooting, the photos I shot deviated slightly from what I had intended for the scene to be composed.



  • La Jetée → I varied the duration between the frames across the entire film. For instance, after the granddaughter returns home to find that her grandmother cooked rice again, the duration between each frame is shortened. Whereas for parts where I want the viewer to focus on the visual or when I want to set a mood, I lengthened the duration between each frame.
  • Playing with lines → Vertical + Diagonal lines: causes anxiety and dynamic atmosphere,  helps to express the tension and unease                  rice3
  • Semiotics → broken bowl | broken relationship
  • Chiaroscuro → makes the scene more dramaticrice
  • Framing with openings


  • Closeup → highlight the importance of the frame 1112me-closeup13
  • Establishing shot → setting the context


Author: JIA ZHEN


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