Because A Tale Of Three Cities is more than just a period romance
In 2015, a not-so-small film entitled A Tale Of Three Cities premiered. Directed by Mabel Cheung, the film portrays the real love story of Charles and Lee-Lee Chan (parents to famed actor Jackie Chan) set during the Sino-Japanese War in the 1930s.
On the surface level, it’s nothing but a periodic romance film—something we’ve all seen before, in one form or another. A story about how two lovers overcame the violence of war and poverty and how their love ultimately kept them together. But this oldie-but-a-goodie film is more than that; it touches on gender inequality, desperation and the power someone can find from sheer grit.
Chen Yuerong (Tang Wei) is a young woman with two daughters, married off to a husband she didn’t care much for at the beginning but eventually learned to adore (or live with). When her husband is killed in the war, she takes it upon herself to make the journey back to her hometown with one toddler in hand and another in a basket upon her shoulders.
Fang Daolong (Sean Lau) is a man of a high (albeit illegal) position, married and with two sons (“little bastards” as he calls them) of his own. When his wife falls ill, he does everything he can to make her comfortable—up until her last days.
Amidst all the rubble, these two find each other. Amidst judgement from family, they refuse to deny themselves the one joy they’ve hopelessly found in a crumbling world. The film is called A Tale Of Three Cities because Yuerong and Daolong’s adventure spans Wuhu, Shanghai and Hong Kong. Like I said: your typical periodic romance film.
But A Tale Of three Cities is more than that. Yuerong, even after finding Daolong, refuses to be—by that era’s definition—a woman. She drinks too much, can shoot a gun, threatens officials and refuses to let her daughters grow up any differently. Daolong, with his bad history and knives on his back, still sees himself worthy of love. And the secondary characters, amidst the wars that rage around them, still find themselves laughing, wanting to better themselves and standing for what they believe in.
It’s refreshing, especially with what we’ve got going on in real-time.
You can catch A Tale Of Three Cities as the 13th Spring Film Festival opens on January 30, 2019 at the Red Carpet Cinema in Shangri-La Plaza. It’s a great (albeit long) watch, you can enter the cinema for free and you’ll get to see the new renovations. Leather seats, yes?
The 13th Spring Film Festival schedule is as follows:
I Belonged To You
Showing January 31 (4:30pm), February 1 (4:30pm) and February 4 (4:30pm)
Lost In White
Showing January 30 (1:00pm), February 3 (4:30pm) and February 5 (1:30pm)
Showing on February 1 (4:00pm), February 2 (4:00pm) and February 4 (7:00pm)
The Third Way Of Love
Showing on January 31 (2:00pm), February 3 (7:00pm) and February 4 (1:30pm)
A Tale Of Three Cities
Showing on January 31 (7:00pm), February 2 (7:00pm), February 3 (1:30pm) and February 5 (4:00pm)
Lost In Hong Kong
Showing on January 30 (1:00pm), February 1 (2:00pm), February 2 (1:30pm) and February 5 (7:00pm)
Art Alexandra Lara