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A beautiful Hong Kong story opens the Festival. A Japanese discovery for the closing

19 October 2023
An Autumn's Tale, dir. Mabel Cheung

One week before revealing the full program of the 17th Five Flavours, we announce the opening and closing films of the Festival. It will begin with the timeless romantic comedy "An Autum Tale," directed by Mabel Cheung, with a cult role of Cherie Chung, and end with "River" – a revelation of Japanese independent cinema, filled with good energy.

The 17th Five Flavours begins on November 15 in Warsaw cinemas and online. The screening opening the Festival and announcing the Hong Kong Heroines section is the 1987 feminist "An Autumn Tale." The film is directed by Mabel Cheung – an outstanding author, still fairly unknown in Poland, whose works often portray migrant communities. When it premiered, "An Autumn Tale" was an unexpected hit, and remains on the lists of the most important Chinese-language movies to this day. Hong Kong cinema sensation, the wonderful Cherie Chung, stars as Jenny, an independent woman determined to find her place in the world. It seems like this tale about people who find themselves in a foreign country gains new meanings today, at a time when the immigrant cinema of Asian Americans became a world-wide phenomenon.

The Festival will close with Junta Yamaguchi's "River." This short, sweet tale tells the story of the protagonists that, for no apparent reason, are stuck in a two-minute time loop, unable to escape the spinning wheel of repeating events. The Japanese filmmaker demonstrates his vivid imagination and proves that film matter is still very much alive, allowing for experiments that entertain and surprise – as evidenced by the enthusiastic reception of the film at international festivals.

An Autumn's Tale

Chau tin dik tung wa
dir. Mabel Cheung
Hong Kong 1987, 98'

Jenny comes to New York at a cost of great sacrifice, but with a clear plan – she wants to join her boyfriend, get into acting school, an enjoy the energy of the new city. A distant cousin picks her up from the airport in his wreck of a car and offers her a room in a picturesque hovel in the middle of an immigrant quarter. Sampan, as his buddies call him, is a slacker and a good-for-nothing with a heart of gold. When not everything goes according to Jenny's plan, he becomes her guide through the labyrinth of an unknown city.

The second part of Mabel Cheung's migration trilogy is a bitter-sweet portrait of two different personalities that are slowly attuning to each other. The roles Chow Yun-fat and Cherie Cheung created in the film went down in cinema history.


Ribā, Nagarenaide Yo
dir. Junta Yamaguchi
Japab 2023, 86'
[cinema only]

By the traditional Fujia ryokan near Kyoto flows the river Kibune. One day, the inn staff experiences an unending collective déjà vu. The whole area surrounding Kibune gets stuck in a time loop. Past events are played out scene by scene, causing a level of chaos that someone needs to get under control. Even though for some the situation is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, the ryokan staff is faced with a serious challenge – as the time loop knows no days off, the comfort of the clients must be assured perpetually.

"River" guarantees a refined film play and a heavy load of warmth. After all, who wouldn't want to stop the passage of time in the beautiful scenery of Kibune?

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