Winter Chants is set in Ho Chung village in Sai Kung, Hong Kong during the once-in-a-decade Tai Ping Ching Chiu Festival, when villagers and far-flung family members come together to pray for peace and harmony. As the sequel to Tsang Tsui-shan’s earlier work Flowing Stories (2014), set during the previous Tai Ping Ching Chiu Festival and tracks Ho Chung Village’s myriad changes over the years, Winter Chants documents the preparation for the upcoming festivities. However, in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, hundreds of those living overseas were unable to return to Hong Kong, while foreign domestic workers were stuck in the city. With the local population aging rapidly, the fate of the festival hangs in the balance. Over a period of four seasons, the film explores the themes of family and separation through the eyes of two festival committee members from different generations, interspersed with stories about village life and overseas villagers who participate in the festival via video.
The screening on 27 January will be followed by a conversation between Tsang Tsui-shan and M+ Curator-at-Large Li Cheuk-to in Cantonese.
About the Director
Tsang Tsui-shan graduated from the Hong Kong Academy of the Performing Arts and City University of Hong Kong. She won the Hong Kong Film Award for Best New Director for her second feature, Big Blue Lake (2011). Since 2015, she has been collaborating with different local dancers to make dance video works. Her VR project Chroma 11 (2022) was selected by the Venice Immersive section of the Venice International Film Festival.
Image at top: Jessey Tsang. Winter Chants, 2023. Photo: Courtesy of Golden Scene Co. Ltd.