7.5/10
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4 user 4 critic

Song of the Exile (1990)

Ke tu qiu hen (original title)
After the Sino-Japanese War, Kwei Dz, one of the family members of Japanese soldiers accepted a Chinese officer's proposal and remained in China. Later they had a daughter named Ann. The ... See full summary »

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2 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
... Cheung Hueyin (Xiao En)
Siu-Kwong Chung ... Younger sister's husband (as Zhaoguang Zhong)
Tan Lang Jachi Tian ... Aiko's brother
... (as Zi Xiong Li)
Qun Lin ... Xiao Hui (Hueyin's younger sister)
Hsiao-Fen Lu ... Aiko (Hueyin's mother) (as Xiao Fen Lu)
... Hueyin's Grandfather (as Feng Tian)
Xiang Xiao ... Hueyin's Grandmother
Tinlan Yang ... Little Hueyin (Xiao En) (as Yang Ting'en)
Quinzi Yinjian ... Aiko's brother's wife
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Storyline

After the Sino-Japanese War, Kwei Dz, one of the family members of Japanese soldiers accepted a Chinese officer's proposal and remained in China. Later they had a daughter named Ann. The officer went to Hong Kong to work, leaving Kwei Dz and Ann in Macao. Kwei Dz, unable to communicate with her in-laws, much less accept their ways, became remorseful. Yet the worst problem she had was that Ann did not accept her as a mother. After Ann got a Master Degree in UK she went back to Hong Kong. Kwei Dz had been feeling very homesick for her mother country and decided to take Ann and return to Japan. In Japan, Ann began to understand her mother's pain because she did not understand Japan or the Japanese. Later a telegram from Canton arrived saying that Ann's grandfather had had a stroke. Upon seeing her to grandfather, Ann realized that, in spite of his now frail body, a body once tortured by Red Guards, he was so hopeful for China's future. Ann saw that China was now trying to find its own ... Written by L.H. Wong <as9401k56@ntuvax.ntu.ac.sg>

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27 April 1990 (Hong Kong)  »

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Song of the Exile  »

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User Reviews

 
Ignored gem rides against the tide of Kong Kong Cinema
15 February 2005 | by See all my reviews

Ann Hui's SONG OF THE EXILE did miserable business in the Australian market, where Shaw Brothers Kung Fu costume spectaculars were all the go. This is not surprising, as it seems to come from another planet rather than just another director.

Hui's work was considered the innovator of the "Hong Kong New Wave" of the late 70s, though the thriller JUMPING ASH anticipated many of it's qualities and used some of it's personnel.

Hui was one of the people who launched super star Chau Yun-fat and many of her assistants became key film makers, always declaring her influence. Her films dealt with a contemporary scene that was still a distance from reality until the controversial and, some claimed propagandist, BOAT PEOPLE.

SONG OF THE EXILE went against the tide - a chicflic autobiographical account of Hui's relationship with her mother which was not sentimental or sensational.

Hui fields (wish fulfillment) the so appealing Maggie Cheung as her self, recalled from her time as a London student to attend her sister's wedding and coming into head on conflict with her Japanese mother who she sees as a mahjong addict philistine. Their encounter forces Maggie/Ann/Hueyin to confront this antagonism and they return to Japan where she finds herself adrift, with no knowledge of the local language. The scene of her chased by what turn out to be benevolent locals is particularly nice. Family members, who fear mum wants to claim the family house, polish its floors. However the respect given her mother doesn't sit with her own ideas and she gradually uncovers mum's unknown past during the WW2 period - where Waisee Lee, another Hong Kong stalwart surfaces in flashback.

The film is genuinely involving, original and beautifully filmed in sharp colour - the arrival at the deserted rail station at night is very Ann Hui. Even with the uneasy Englsh speaking opening, Maggie gets her best outing here and the relationship with the mother character has a resonance rare in any cinema, let alone the glittering surfaces of the Hong Kong film.

Rewarding viewing, unique among the national industry and a peak achievement for one of the world's most influential film makers, this should have achieved far wider recognition.


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