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Floating Life

A woman holding a book.
July 9, 2022 - 7:30 pm


North American restoration premiere!

Floating Life

Australia, 1996

Macau-born filmmaker Clara Law Cheuk-yiu (1957-present) moved to Hong Kong as a child and studied English Literature in university before, in her very early 20s, being hired by Radio Television Hong Kong to direct and produce television programs. With experience on one-dozen shows under her belt in just two years, her pivot to film was a natural one, with her first feature The Other Half and the Other Half (1988) released in Asia when Law was just 31. But it was her move with creative partner Eddie Fong to Australia in the mid-’90s, the setting for her ninth feature film, Floating Life, that would center her films on the world’s stage. This first Asian-Australian film to examine the migrant experience in Australia won the Silver Leopard at the Locarno Film Festival in 1996, was nominated for three Australian Film Institute Awards, including Best Director and Best Screenplay, and was Australia’s official entry in the Best Foreign Language category at the 69th Academy Awards. An at turns hilarious and poignant film “about feelings of identity and finding a place in society and the world,” said Law on the occasion of the new restoration from the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia, Floating Life symbolizes “the yearning for home and what home means … looking inside to find your roots and your culture … about overcoming fear and differences on the surface and making sure your inner self is … ready to understand yourself.”

DCP, color, in English, German and Cantonese with English subtitles, 96 min. Director: Clara Law. Screenwriter: Eddie Ling-Ching Fong, Clara Law. Cinematographer: Dion Beebe. Editor: Suresh Ayyar. With: Annette Shun Wah, Annie Yip, Anthony Brandon Wong, Edwin Pang, Fung-Sing Lee. Restored by the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia; courtesy of NFSA.