Monday, January 29, 2007

Hiroshima 28

There's an article in this morning's Straits Times Life section of an interview with veteran Hong Kong director Ann Hui. She is well-known for movies like Boat People (1982), Summer Snow (1995). Both were powerful movies with a social message - the first about the plight of Vietnamese refugees and the second about a 40-year old housewife who had to take care of her Alzheimer's-afflicted father-in-law.

If, like me, you enjoy this genre of movies, I would recommend you an even older one by the title of Hiroshima 28 (广岛28)also starring Josephine Siao Fong Fong. The story is about a young Japanese woman who contracted the deadly leukemia arising from the effects of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima 28 years after the event.

The show was directed by Lung Kong (龙刚 - hope I got that right). Those who are old enough to have enjoyed the Cantonese black and white movies of the 50s and 60s may recognize this name. He was a contemporary of people like Patrick Tse Yin and Cheong Yin Choi, and often acted as a baddie. I remember one very dramatic scene of him acting as a drug addict but unfortunately cannot recall the name of the show.

He was probably inspired by the story behind the Hiroshima Peace Crane

Photo of Hiroshima Peace Crane courtesy of Kamoda.

I took this picture in December 1985 at a place called Ura Bandai, near Lake Inawashiro in Northern Honshu, Japan.

Related story: To The Movies


Anonymous said...

WWII creates controversy after controversy, no end to it even up to this very day. Visits by Japanese politicians to the Yasakuni temple (storing the remains of top Japanese war time criminals), more importantly by the Prime Minister, seen as glorifying militarism, still cause political earthquakes in China and Korea and tremors in many Asian countries. China claims that WWII started in 1936 by the Marco Polo bridge incident staged by the Japanese military, and the Japanese insists that the war ended by the US using atomic bombs, chiefly because of racial prejudice against Japan. US reiterated that without using such weapons many more lives would continue to be killed. The debate goes on, but everybody agrees that World peace is most important and needs to be enforced by the UN but is it possible ?

Chris Sim said...

UN? What power does it really yield? George Bush don't give it a shit. The UN opposed the invasion on Iraq, but the US invaded it anyway. It's juz a toothless tiger, in other words, a dog whose bark is louder then its bite. Where's its power of conviction?

Oops ... before Chun See interjects and reminds us all to keep close to the topic .... Ya, I remember Ann Hui.. but how she's aged over the years... And yes, Siao Fong Fong is such a fine actress. I think she too starred in Summer Snow? The father in law was Ke Jiu Shiong? Ya, great movie. I love movies which address social issues.

Anonymous said...

I would like to mention a Japanese film about Hiroshima called Black Rain from 1989 which focuses on one family and is very affecting.

And of course as an outsider I have to remind myself how much Singapore suffered during the Japanese invasion and how important it is for us to see these films to understand suffering and how important peace is (and how damaging war always prove to be)


Lam Chun See said...

Wrong; Chris. The father-in-law was played by Qiao Hung. I think he won an award for his performance.

Brian. Thanks for the recommendation Will try to see if it's available on dvd.

Chris Sim said...

Yeah... I kept thinking of Ke Jiu Shiong who's also a fantastic actor. Here's the link to Summer Snow. I guess Qian Hung is also Ray Chiao... Both he and Josephine got best actor and actress award.

Anonymous said...

Countries go to war mainly due to territory disputes. After much killings and sufferings, it seems they are back to a status quo after the war. Basically everybody goes back to their original shells, with some difference - Germany and Japan back to before, Vietnam as one country, Korea back to the 38th parallel. The major change was that the colonial powers lost their conquered lands. Of course wars, other than territorial, could be caused by other factors. Now all countries are waken up to a new world war called terrorism.

Anonymous said...

Ann Hui also directed a lesser-known movie, The Spooky Bunch, which I saw in Singapore. I think the main actress was also Siao Fong Fong. But there seems to be no VCD or DVD of this movie.