兩位丫丫小記者前天在蒙市 Atlantic Time Square 參與了中美合拍獨立電影《唐人街1871》The Jade Pendant 的電影首映和紅地毯活動，當晚所有主要演員，包括男主角高以翔、女主角李成敏，以及幕後製作團隊，包括製片、編劇、導演梁普智、原著作者 L P Leung 等都盛裝出席，電影放映後更有答問會，與觀眾進一步討論電影的製作過程。還與 Fresh off the Boat 三位小童星 Hudson Yang、Forrest Wheeler、Ian Chen 喜相逢，好開心喔！
本片由著名華裔作家梁小龍（L. P. Leong）的同名暢銷小說《翡翠吊墜》（The Jade Pendant）基於真實歷史故事創作改編，香港資深導演梁普智（Po-chin Leong）執導，影片最終定名為《唐人街1871 》。這是一部描寫華人早期移民在美國西部墾荒的一段艱難晦澀的歷史故事。講述一名叫“牡丹”的中國女子，由單親父親撫養，從小讀書，寫字，繪畫，習武，4歲拒絕裹腳，16歲為了逃離包辦婚姻，漂洋過海，追求自由和幸福的故事。
好萊塢赫赫有名的兩個電影編劇 David Assael 和 Scott M.Rosenfelt 也加入共同改編創作《唐人街1871》。梁小龍和導演梁普智都表示，通過此片希望美國華人及所有華人不忘美國種族惡行歷史，以史為鏡，警惕任何種族歧視行徑，避免歷史重演。
The Story line ~
Peony – A vibrant and beautiful girl raised in China by her widower father. He taught her reading, calligraphy, painting and kung fu. At age four, she resisted foot-binding. At 16, she rejected an arranged marriage; repulsed rape attempts in Hong Kong by her uncle; and signed on as a domestic to a brothel in San Francisco for five years. She sent the $200 advance stipend to her sick father. This is a story of Peony’s determination to control her own destiny against great odds. The mystic jade pendant – Peony’s grandmother gave her the heirloom pendant saying, “Keep it with you at all times. It will protect you and give you wisdom." Frank Michaels, unintentionally snatched the pendant from Peony during the 1871 Chinatown Massacre. He kept the pendant as his surrogate mistress for 52 years. In 1923, he returned it to her husband Tom Wong who brought it to her grave in a very surreal encounter. Frank desperately needed absolution for his participation in the Massacre before he dies. During Peony’s short life, three Chinese men and Frank were infatuated with her. She loved Tom dearly. Their life together was short but his love for her was unceasing.
Review: The Jade Pendant
by Karen Shi
First of all, I would not recommend certain parts of this film to younger audiences. There were a few explicit scenes and some violence distributed throughout the movie. However, the chemistry between Peony (played by Clara Lee) and Tom Wong (played by Godfrey Gao) was very visible and I could almost feel it in the theater as I watched it. The movie makes you, gasp, wince, and jump at all the right times as the storyline progresses with a crescendo and the conflict develops further. It’s hard not to cheer when Peony stabs her dagger a final time into Yu Hing, an antagonist played by Tzi Ma. But it’s also a heartbreaking sight to see as Tom carries the unliving body of Peony out of the building near the end of the movie, which quickly turns to sorrow and sympathy when the movie fast forwards to three generations later, where Tom, now a grandfather, visits Peony at her gravestone with his family. The massacre of 18 Chinese immigrants in Los Angeles was portrayed in a very convincing scene, you could practically feel the pain of the people as they were hung, burned or shot with guns.
Yet, the film is not all blood, sweat and tears. It is accessorized with little bits of humor here and there. For example, when Tom reaches in his bag to pull something out, Peony leans towards him, and when Tom turns his head back Peony snaps back into her original, solemn pose. And we can’t forget the romance that begins the moment Peony and Tom meet while catching a thief on the streets not too long from when Peony first arrived to become a “Flower Princess” in America with her friend Lily.
Overall, The Jade Pendant portrayed the events of the execution of Chinese immigrants in California in 1871 as a tragic love story in a humorous yet heartbreaking way. It’s completely one-of-a-kind. It teaches Asians born Americans to stand up for themselves or ignore them if one ever accuses them of not being Americans. This 106 minute long film is certainly one to be remembered.