Director: Ann Hui
Runtime: 101 minutes
Country: Hong Kong
PRIZE OF THE ECUMENICAL JURY
Berlin International Film Festival 1995
BEST FEATURE FILM
BEST LEADING ACTRESS
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Golden Horse Film Festival 1995
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Hong Kong Film Awards 1996
May is a Hong Kong housewife juggling multiple and conflictual roles: she handles domestic chores, looks after her father-in-law, husband and teenage son, and works in a small business importing toiletry items from mainland China. When her mother-in-law suddenly passes away, May realises her authoritarian father-in-law might be suffering from Alzheimer’s and becomes his main caregiver. As the patriarch’s memory loss evokes his war memories as a fighter pilot, May is surprised by tender moments of lucidity, as she struggles to find a semblance of unity within her family.
Summer Snow is a masterfully balanced domestic drama that localises a woman’s subjectivity in the quotidian realities of 90s Hong Kong with touches of levity and physical humour. A confrontation of the paradoxes of memory, Ann Hui makes visible May’s heroism that counteracts, displaces but also works in tandem with the patriarch’s historical memory. The conflict of gendered histories finds reconciliation in May’s empathy and fortitude, played by Josephine Siao with both nuance and perfect comic timing.
* The screening of this film is supported by the Hong Kong Film Archive (HKFA).
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