Spirit of Overseas Chinese
Dir/Scr: Wan Hoi-ling Prod: Miu Hong-nee, Lam Chun-sing
Cast: Hou Yu, Feng Tao, Chen Feng
1946 / B&W / D Beta / Mandarin / 95min
Soon after the Sino-Japanese war broke out, two siblings escape from China to their uncle in Singapore. There, they manage to stir up their apathetic cousin’s patriotic spirit and convince him to join the war effort. One of the first depictions of the Chinese diaspora by a Hong Kong director, director Wan Hoi-Ling shows the problem of overseas Chinese whose ethnic spirits have weakened due to their years abroad. Living a luxurious life under a foreign education system, these immigrants have come to lose sight of the crisis in their homeland. Wan chooses to approach a cultural issue from a micro perspective, highlighting the plight of the individual rather than an entire nation and making the story easier for audiences to connect to. Though the conditions of Singapore after the war were not ideal for filming, Wan was able to shoot most of the film on location.
Screening Courtesy of the China Film Archive
||Cinema, Hong Kong Film Archive
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