My Mother Is a Belly Dancer

  • 104'
  • Hong Kong
  • 2006
At first sight, this is not a typical festival film. It is closer to the romantic comedy than the arthouse film. What makes the film special is the angle taken on this genre. The protagonists are housewives, but not affluent and not young - a neglected group in every genre, commercial or not. In addition, the film provides a realistic picture of the mood in a specific district of Hong Kong - Choi Hung in Kowloon - that evokes a very different picture of what must be one of the most filmed cities in the world.
Three housewives, Ms Wong (Kristal Tin), Ms Lee (Sydney) and Ms Chan (Amy Chum), lead a far from exciting existence in a depressing high-rise district. They can’t afford much, limited as they are by the bourgeois norms of their surroundings and their limited household budget. They do seek some distraction by going to traditional Chinese dancing lessons in a community centre. One day, the teacher turns out to have been replaced by a certain Pasha, who has specialised in belly dancing. The sensual and exotic form of dance is not considered fitting by most ladies, but our protagonists, joined by the young mother Cherry (Monie Tung), become increasingly enthusiastic, after initial hesitation. The women’s passion for belly dancing soon causes considerable concern in their surroundings. The wonderful acting by the elderly actresses makes the film moving and entertaining. In the end, the film is also original thanks to its emotional profundity. (GjZ)

Lee Kung Lok
Country of production
Hong Kong
Production Year
Festival Edition
IFFR 2007
Original title
See lai ng yi cho
Daniel Yu, Wong Ching Po, Lorna Tee, Chu Chen On
Production Companies
Focus Films Limited, October Pictures Limited
Focus Films Limited
Lee Kung Lok, Erica Lee, Susan Chan
Jason Kwan
Billy Cheung
Production Design
Tse Chi Kuen
Sound Design
Tu Duu-Chih
Paul Wong