Dir / Scr: Tso Kea
Orig Story: Henrik Iben's play Ghosts
Prod Co: Overseas
Cast: Wong Man-lei, Cheung Ying, Ha Ping,
1960 / B&W / D Beta / Cantonese / Chi & Eng Subtitles / 108min
The mother-son relationship is an important device of Hong Kong cinema, at once poignantly dramatic and evocatively metaphoric. Motherhood opens with a brief montage of a mansion that, reminiscent of Citizen Kane (1941), offers promise as a formally daring work and a penetrating probe into a certain heart of darkness. Director Tso Kea continues the audacious streak of his late 1950s work at Cathay, adapting Henrik Ibsen's notoriously sensational play Ghosts and boldly presenting a cast of psychologically troubled characters. The mother referred to in the title is not the meek, sacrificing figures so readily sanctified by Cantonese films. By turns caring and scheming, indulgent and clueless, bitter and cruel, she is a flawed but full-fledged human being. And her story is a powerful and moving portrait of the changing times as manifested by changing family relationships.
||Cinema, Hong Kong Film Archive
* Post-screening talk with Mary Wong
Post-screening talk with Sam Ho
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