Tag Archives: Yam Kim-fai

Crossing the Hu-Du-Men

Hu-Du-Men
-a term from Cantonese Opera. It refers to an imaginary line between the stage and the backstage area. When actors cross the “Hu-Du-Men”, they should forget themselves and become their roles.

The opening shot of the 1996 Hong Kong film explains the origin of its title, which serves as a motif throughout the film. This wonderful comedy-drama by director Shu Kei tells the story of a famed Cantonese Opera performer Lang Kim-sum (played by the amazing Josephine Siao Fong-fong), who specializes in portraying male roles on the opera stage, and her struggle to juggle many different roles in life, both on and off stage. It has been over ten years since I first saw this film and, much to my delight, I re-watched it recently as I was conducting more research for my short film Memory of a Butterfly, a lesbian love story with Chinese Opera elements, that is based on my feature project.

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