Breaking the Willow

Breaking the Willow

Dir/Prod/Pho: Yonfan
Prod Co: Far-Sun
Cast: Zhang Jiqing, Wang Fang, Zhao Wenlin
2003 | Colour | 35mm | Mandarin | Chi & Eng Subtitles | 110min

This film was acquired locally in 2004.

Director Yonfan is a staunch supporter of the Archive. This relationship began after he watched one of the Archive's programmes and spoke to our staff. During the conversation he enthusiastically agreed to donate the negatives and copies of his films. As we all know, director Yonfan has very strict standards when it comes to art. His creations for his films, for example the costumes, feature exquisite hand work and are worth a fortune. The fact that he is willing to donate his costumes, hand-written scripts and other artefacts to the Archive shows his trust and affection in us, for which the Archive is extremely grateful.

Kunqu opera is an ancient style of drama and a UNESCO intangible cultural heritage. Through two different arias, director Yonfan shows the unique properties of this performing art. National treasure-grade actor Zhang Jiqing's performance shows total control and looks effortless. Her bright voice, illustrating her wealth of emotions, is simply magnificent. She passes on her skills to the next generation, displaying an incredibly selfless attitude. The second aria is performed by younger performers Wang Fang and Zhao Wenlin. It is about a woman and her lover saying goodbye before they are separated. With these two arias placed side by side, one gets a sense that the art of kunqu is aggressively being passed on to the next generations. Although opera performance is continuous, the way it was filmed and cut together with multiple shots and the addition of the backstage life of the performers makes this a new and unique combination between the arts of kunqu opera and film.

Date Time Venue
4/9/2021 (Sat) 12:00pm Cinema, Hong Kong Film Archive

The contents of the programme do not represent the views of the presenter. The presenter reserves the right to change the programme should unavoidable circumstances make it necessary.