The Stunt Woman

Action drama
Hong Kong
Cantonese, English and Czech subtitles
Directing: Ann Hui
Starring: Michelle Yeoh, Sammo Hung
Distributor: Paramount, Park Circus


The screening will be introduced by the director Ann Hui.

Throughout her career, Ann Hui has many times demonstrated her genre versatility. She perfectly comprehends the principles of war films, comedies, melodramas, and action films. What she never forgets is the central theme of her works – people stories and humanity. A great example of the director combining a genre experiment with a central theme is the life story of Ah Kam (Michelle Yeoh), a stunt woman.

In three chapters Hui brings three different films with a unifying theme – the status of women in Hong Kong society. The first chapter of The Stunt Woman is a conscious take on François Truffaut‘s Day for Night (1973) or Andrzej Wajda‘s Everything for Sale (1969). Using a great deal of introspection, it tells the story of stunt men and women and their status in the film industry. On the one hand, Hui describes their job as dangerous, sometimes underrated by directors or producers, and unexpectedly intimate on the other. Stunt teams form small families, little ecosystems in an otherwise pragmatic industry. Meta-cinematic narration is followed by a subversive melodrama and that, at last, changes into a refugee story. But at center stage of each story is Ah Kam, a woman who refuses to conform to social norms, whether as a stunt woman, a partner, or a mother. The Stunt Woman uses genre formulas primarily as motivation to explore the woman-society relationship.