Breaking the Willow (Restored Version)

Breaking the Willow (Restored Version)

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

Love is but a dream, as told by the two opera excerpts in this kunqu documentary. Zhang Jiqing, better known as the ‘Queen of Kunqu', plays a wilful woman who divorces her dirt-poor husband, only to find greater woes lying ahead. The other is about a royalty bidding a tearful farewell to her commander husband, who ends up marrying someone else. The happenings on stage, contrasted with the cityscape of present-day Suzhou in the film, come across as all the more dreamy and distant. And yet, Zhang Jiqing, who shifts in and out of character seamlessly when talking about her art, is a living testimony to this age-old legacy. The film ends on Zhang guiding young actors through The Peony Pavilion; the magnum opus of kunqu. Yonfan's dedication to perpetuating this dream is there for all to see.

Additional screening of director's interview

Date Time Venue
27/10/2022 (Thu)  7:30pm 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.