Posts Tagged ‘Teddy Award’

All Shall be Well (2024) Berlinale 2024

Dir/Wri: Ray Yeung | Drama 93′

All Shall Be Well opens as if all is very well during a sequence in which a diverse range of family generations are observed sitting around a table laughing, chatting and eating from copious bowls of food. There is nothing here out of the ordinary in a sequence that evokes familiar Asian family gatherings seen in many films linking traditions of Asian filmmaking, including the great family-focused films of Yasujiro Ozu.

The film swiftly shifts tone after we have been introduced to the two older women, Angie and Pat, who are clearly longtime partners, creating a successful business partnership and lovingly referred to by the family as Aunties. Angie (played by Para Au) is seen talking in a carefree way to Pat (played by Lin-Lin Li) who is in another room when Angie becomes aware of an ominous silence. Director and screenwriter Ray Yeung delivers the first of a series of audacious edits with a cut-away to a funeral sequence. We then observe, in a series of sequences, how shattered and distraught Angie feels about the loss of her soul mate.

Hong Kong based filmmaker Ray Yeung has made previous films on subjects including male relationships linked to the fashion industry in Front Cover (2015) and Twilight Kiss (2019) which looks at the problems of an older couple of gay men. All Shall Be Well takes Leung a stage further with his delicate, more unsettling than it looks, new film. It is a masterly study of complex family relationships and less than forgiving and harsh laws in countries like Hong Kong with links to China that are not progressive with LGBT rights. The film explores how family connections can be unsettling when order and inheritance involving wealth and property surface with the rights of couples in LGBT relationships literally less than clear or white-washed out of legal frameworks.

Apart from remarkable ensemble performances in particular from Patra Au at the centre of the film there is impressive camerawork by Ming kai Leung which gently moves the camera along with the movement of characters or frames sequences with close-ups as the drama unfolds. Yeung centres a key element around the spiritual healing powers of water that anchor a clash between Pat and her brother-in-law.

The film’s denouement is one of the finest in recent cinema. A revelation provides the otherwise unanswered mystery which has bothered and troubled Angie as she calmly but resolutely refuses to accept the fate handed to her by family rights and laws that enshrine injustice. When Angie discovers the real truth about her partner the film ends on a triumphant note of calm acceptance as to how love can transcend whatever blows that life brings. A powerful thought-provoking ending brings resolve and resolution to Yeung’s film and it is not surprising that All Shall Be Well walked off with the coveted LGBT Teddy Award against considerable competition at this year’s 74th Berlin Film Festival.

A film to watch out for when it is released which is likely to find a true worldwide following along the lines of recent enlightening LGBT themed films including The Blue Caftan.




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