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19 Sep 18:00

at The Garden cinema

Havana Divas 古巴花旦

Dir S. Louisa Wei | Hong Kong | 2019 (2023 Director's Cut) | 99min

The story focuses on Caridad and Georgina, who had learned the art of Cantonese Opera in Havana at a young age and performed as divas for over a decade before their lives were changed by Fidel Castro’s revolution. A unique look into the Chinese diaspora in North and Latin America and its connection to Hong Kong and Canton. The 2023 version includes their performance on Hong Kong stage at the advanced age of 88 and 90.

HAVANA DIVAS offers a window into over 170 years of Chinese migration to Cuba. Through contemporary interviews, archival photographs, and footage, director S. Louisa Wei delves into the evolving culture of Cantonese opera within a specific historical context. The film reveals the female spirit of the two stage sisters, capturing the spirit of female performers and making a significant contribution to the expanding collection of films documenting women artists within the Chinese Diaspora.

This is going to be the UK Premiere of Director's Cut version.

Director bio

With a PhD in Film Studies from University of Alberta (Canada), Dr Louisa Wei joined the School of Creative Media in 2001 and has taught over 2000 students. Her courses are mostly related to filmmaking, film history, storytelling, and topics in media/popular culture; while she also advises student studio/thesis projects in fiction/script writing, documentary, narrative film, and projects with gender-related themes. As an independent documentary filmmaker, her two feature films—Storm under the Sun (2009) and Golden Gate Girls (2014)—have gained international recognition from academia and film festivals, as well as attracted media attention ranging from Hollywood’s trade magazine to major newspapers in Hong Kong and mainland China. As a scholar, she has published books including Cinema East and West (2014), PreAnimate: A Guide for Independent Animators (2010), and Women’s Film: Dialogues with Chinese and Japanese Female Directors (2009).

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