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Hong Kong Crystal Bear at Berlin Film Festival: 'Echoes of the Rainbow' location to be demolished
The Berlinale favorite was filmed on Wing Lee Street, a corner of Old Hong Kong now threatened with redevelopment
The making of 'Echoes of the Rainbow': When Art director Alfred Yau was first told to film street scenes, he replied "It is not possible. Too much has changed in Hong Kong." Finding Wing Lee Street was a stroke of luck.
Hong Kong won its first Crystal Bear award at the Berlin Film Festival for best feature film in the Generation category, but film lovers and residents are worried that the film's location in Old Hong Kong may be demolished soon.
The historic film "Echoes of the Rainbow" was shot on Wing Lee Street, a part of Sheung Wan District with original architecture dating from the 1960s. In the film's making-of documentary below (0:10), director Alex Law said that it was extremely difficult for him to scout a location for the film with an authentic 1960s atmosphere, since most of Hong Kong's old neighborhoods have been demolished.
And he thinks it may be the last time he shoots a period drama. "I think if you asked me to shoot another film in ten years about Old Hong Kong, I would highly doubt the possibility," Law says. The director hopes that Wing Lee Street will be spared the bulldozers together with the neighboring Man Mo Temple, Seafood Street, and Ladder Street. The trio could be preserved as a tourism zone.
Wing Lee street resident Mrs Yam, who lent the filmmakers her old sewing machine to be used as a prop in "Echoes," told Hong Kong Daily News that her husband has been living on the street since the 1960s. She said the neighborhood is clean and safe, but she received a notice from the Urban Renewal Authority regarding possible redevelopment of the area.
"Echoes of the Rainbow" is a semi-autobiographical film about director Alex Law's childhood in 1960s Hong Kong. The film is narrated through the eyes of the eight-year-old character based on the director himself. Law and his producer-wife Mabel Cheung are best known for collaborating on "An Autumn's Tale" (1987) a critical and box office success. The husband and wife team made "Echoes" with funding from the Hong Kong government's Film Development Fund.
"Echoes of the Rainbow" will starting playing in cinemas on March 11.