The Light of Women

The Light of Women

Dir: Ko Lei-hen
Scr: Ying Ming-ha
Prod Co: Nanyang
Cast: Lee Yi-nin, Kwong Shan-siu, Leong Tim-tim, Wong Cho-shan, To Sam-ku
1937 | B&W | DCP | Cantonese | 84min

This film was acquired overseas in 2012.

Thanks to the cinema owner, businessman and investor Mr Gordon Fung for his personal introduction, in 2012 the Archive received a generous donation from Mr Jack Lee Fong, founder of San Francisco's Palace Theatre. The treasure trove contained Chinese-language nitrate films from the 1930s and 40s, including Struggle and The Light of Women (1937). The unearthing of this batch of rare films made an important piece of puzzle in the history o Chinese-language films back into place.

Luk Mo-jing (Lee Yi-nin) aspires to a life of independence and self-reliance. When her brother forces her to marry a rich factory owner, she escapes to another town. There, she meets a man she loves (Kwong Shan-siu). She believes that free love will bring her happiness, but discovers that he is weak, incapable, and not someone she wants to spend the rest of her life with. So she leaves him and single-handedly raises adopted daughter Sau-wah (Leong Tim-tim) while establishing a vocational school for girls from disadvantaged families. Through the struggles of mother and daughter, the film portrays the increase in popularity, then passing down to the next generations and finally the downfall of the institution of women choosing not to get married, showing another choice for women in the 1930s who wish to escape male domination.

The quality of the picture and sound tracks of this film have deteriorated due to age, but the realism of the script is an accurate reflection of the details of life at the time.

Date Time Venue
6/11/2021 (Sat) 4:00pm Cinema, Hong Kong Film Archive

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