Minwei Li

Lai Man-Wai (Chinese: 黎民偉; pinyin: Li Minwei; 1893–1953), considered the “Father of Hong Kong Cinema”, was the director of the first Hong Kong film Zhuangzi Tests His Wife in 1913. In the film, Lai played the role of the wife, partly due to the reluctance of women to participate in show business at the time. Born in Japan, of Xinhui, Guangdong origin and raised in Hong Kong, he joined Sun Yat-sen’s Kuomintang party in 1911 and helped make anti-warlord movies. He was an active director during the golden years of the Shanghai movie industry from 1921 to 1928. In 1923, he founded the Minxin (China Sun) Film Company with his brother, Lai Pak-Hoi, in Hong Kong which later relocated to Shanghai. In 1930, he co-founded one of the “Big Three” studios of the 1930s, Lianhua Film Company, with Law Ming-yau. Lianhua, together with other leading Shanghai studios, was destroyed when the Empire of Japan attacked Shanghai in 1937. Lai returned to Hong Kong in 1938 and retired. He was married to Florence Lim, a Vancouver-born Hong Kong actress. His daughter Lai Suen and granddaughter Gigi Lai are both actresses.

Poster for the movie "Romance of the West Chamber"

Romance of the West Chamber

A love story between a poor scholar and wealthy woman. The film is an adaption of the classic Chinese dramatic work Romance of the West Chamber by Wang Shifu. Originally consisting of ten film reels, only 5 reels have survived.

Chuang Tsi Tests His Wife, Zhuangzi Tests His Wife

Philosopher-eccentric Chuang Tsi comes across a woman fanning the newly built grave of her dead husband because she desires to marry again. On returning home, Chuang Tsi decides to put his wife to the test – he fakes his own death; the wife is grief-stricken and goes into mourning. While funeral arrangement are in progress, a handsome young man come to call on Chuang Tsi. Later, there is talk of marriage between Chuang Tsi wife … Read more