The Ill-Fated Flower
Dir: Wong Kit
Cast: Xia Fan, Lan Tian (Lam Tin), Zifeng, Ding Yi
1958 / B&W / D Beta / Chaozhou-dialect / Chi subtitles / 91min
The folklore-inspired operas were the source for early Chaozhou-dialect films which were mostly period costume pictures. This modern family drama is an offering ahead of its times. The protagonist Nancy Shi (Xia Fan), whose mother died when she was a child, was brought up by her wet nurse. Setbacks such as her benefactress’ death and her failure to find her father (Ding Yi) have however driven her into suicide. Saved by a thug named Song Dapeng (Zifeng), she loses her virginity and becomes a taxi dancer. Nancy’s brother Hanping (Lan Tian) seeks fun at the nightclub where she works for, and a forbidden affair ensues. As she is about to run away from Song’s clutches, Nancy accidentally kills Song, which leads to her arrest. Despite her lot, Nancy stands tall as a modern-day embodiment of the traditional virtues expected of women. This audacious film sees a mixture of rustic regional flavours with modern sensibilities.
||Cinema, Hong Kong Film Archive
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