Ordinary Heroes (千言萬語)

Ordinary Heroes (千言萬語)

Monday, January 30, 2006 - 7:00pm to 8:30pm
Auditorium (Room 101), Henry R. Luce Hall See map
34 Hillhouse Avenue
New Haven, CT 6511

Ordinary Heroes (千言萬語, Chin Yin Man Yu or Qian yan wan yu)
Directed by Ann Hui Oh-Wah, 1998 (128 minutes)

A tale of social struggle in 1980s Hong Kong, the story revolves around the real-life fight between the colonial government and the territory’s “boat people” — mainland fishermen and their families who lived on squalid houseboats in Hong Kong waters and were long refused permission to settle on dry land. The film centers on four people involved in the political activism of 1980’s who reflect on their turbulent past from the vantage point of the disillusionment of the 1990s. The story begins with a young woman, Sow, fleeing into an empty tunnel wearing only a hospital gown. She is suffering from amnesia, and the memory she has lost includes a disappointing love story and a decade of social struggle in Hong Kong.

Director Ann Hui frames the film with sequences from a street play about the late Ng Chung-Yin, an agit-prop pioneer in the 1970s, and focuses on the few individuals who in the 1980s lobbied the Hong Kong government on China-related issues and campaigned for social reforms –activities cut short by events in Tiananmen Square in June 1989. Through the characters’ lonely, principled struggles, cold-shouldered by society, Hui pinpoints something key to Hong Kong identity.

Images of the Cityscape in Hong Kong Cinema Series

For More Information

China, Hong Kong