The Amoy-dialect cinema of Hong Kong is a strange breed of works. They were produced in Hong Kong but were seldom shown in the then colony. They were made in the Amoy dialect of southern Fujian but, as far as we can determine, never shown in the province.
The films were targeted mainly towards speakers of Fujian dialects, chief among them Fujian émigrés in Southeast Asia and Mannanyu speakers of Taiwan. Ironically, residents of Fujian were not able to see them because of political barriers. The cinema came into being in the late 1940s and became popular in the 1950s, suffering decline in the 1960s.
Over 200 titles were produced in total, with established actors, directors, scriptwriters and other behind-the-scenes personnel. A few stars enjoyed great popularity, becoming household names among Fujian-speaking populations. Early projects were mostly costume pictures, but films of contemporary settings were made in increasing numbers in the second half of the 1950s.
Most of the films had been lost. The Hong Kong Film Archive had throughout the years acquired a small collection of titles, some of them in prints, some in only VHS formats. We are proud to present a selected number of those films in this programme. Titles blown up from VHS suffer from very poor visual qualities and will be shown free of charge.
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