Synopsis by Bhob Stewart
Jacob Cheung directed this $1.5 million Hong Kong lesbian drama. Shot in China, the film was first shown in Hong Kong in a two-hour version, but a longer version, the director's cut, runs 158 minutes. In 1990s San Francisco, designer Wai (Theresa Lee) has friction with her boyfriend Wah (Winston Chau). Wai moves her father's former servant, aged Auntie Foon (Gua Ah-leh), into her apartment, later taking her to China to reside at a Guangzhou (Canton) retirement home. During the trip, the older woman experiences flashbacks to the '30s and '40s, a time of bittersweet memories when Japanese bombs separated her from her lover. These flashbacks follow the young Foon (Charlie Young), who ignores her parents' wishes and joins the Comb Women sisterhood, the women of southern China's Pearl River delta who "combed their own hair" (meaning they chose chastity over marriage). Foon is working at a spinning factory when she's seen by Wan (Carina Liu), wife number eight of silk-merchant Siu Tung (Tung Wei). Wan hires Foon as a maid and becomes jealous when Foon is attracted to fisherman Hung Ngau (Chin Karlok). Foon is stunned when Wan confesses her love for Foon, but the women finally become a couple after Hung Ngau rejects Foon. Amidst Japanese bombing raids, as Siu Tung tries to get Wan to safety, tragedy erupts, as the story continues to dissolve back and forth between past and present.
boyfriend, designer, jealousy, lesbianism, love, rejection, reminiscence, servant, tragic-love, trip, war