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June 2016 Chinese Film in Wellington


中国电影  – Thursday 23 June 2016, 7.15pm

Venue: Committee Room One, Wellington City Council, 101 Wakefield Street. Gold coin donation. With support from Confucius Institute, VUW.

(Please note that you need to press the buzz to the left of the Wakefield Street entrance, and ask security to let you. Txt 0210306853 if you cannot get in.)

Title: 半生缘 (Ban Sheng Yuan) “Eighteen Springs” [1997, 126 minutes]
Director: 许鞍华 Ann Hui.

Screenplay: 陈健忠 Kin Chung Chan, 张爱玲Eileen Chang (novel).

Cast:  黎明Leon Lai, 吴倩莲Chien-Lien Wu, 梅艳芳Anita Mui, 黄磊 Huang Lei, 葛优Ge You, 吴辰君Annie Wu, 王志文Wang Zhiwen.

Based on an Eileen Chang novel, this is a story of romance and fate set in the Shanghai of the 1930s. Manjing (Wu Chien-lien), a young woman from a once-well-off family, works in a Shanghai factory, where she meets Shujun (Leon Lai), the son of wealthy Nanjing merchants. Despite Shujun’s reservations about Manjing’s family (her sister, Manlu (Anita Mui) works as a nightclub “hostess”), they manage, in stages, to fall in love. The expected progress through engagement to marriage is interrupted, first by Manjing’s ambivalence about taking this step, then by Shujun’s rejection of her family, and finally by that family’s baroquely conceived abuse and enslavement of Shujun. After a long period of separation, Shujun and Manjing meet, but realize that their happiness remains only in memory, in a nostalgic re-imagining of opportunities missed, understandings never arrived at.