The Arch

The Arch

Dir/Scr/Prod: Tong Shu-shuen
Prod Co: Film Dynasty
Cast: Lisa Lu, Roy Chiao, Hilda Chou Hsuan, Li Ying, Man Sau
1970 | B&W | 35mm | Mandarin | Chi & Eng Subtitles | 95min

This film was acquired overseas in 2007.

The Arch, first released in the 1970s, is a unique film that launched director Tong Shu-shuen onto the international stage. The Archive had been intensively seeking the film's negative, and eventually found a print overseas. Unfortunately, part of the audio tracks was in unsatisfactory condition. After further investigation, the Archive found that the investor of the film had kept a print. The investor's family quickly agreed to donate the print, evidencing their trust in the Archive.

Set in a rural village in China's southwest region during the 17th century, this period drama stars Lisa Lu as Madame Tung, a widow who finds herself falling for the same man as her daughter. Constrained by the traditional values that define her life, Madame Tung gives up her pursuit of love and receives a ‘chastity arch' by imperial decree. Tong Shu-shuen is one of the most important woman filmmakers in Hong Kong history. In The Arch, she explores hidden desires and morality in imperial-era China from a modern perspective in her astonishing directorial debut. Featuring a powerfully restrained performance by Lisa Lu and evocative images shot by legendary Indian cinematographer Subrata Mitra, the film won four prizes at the Golden Horse Awards, going on to become a celebrated monument in the cinematic landscape of Hong Kong.

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

# Post-screening talk with Shu Kei

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