The World Of Tsai Chin
A film by Michelle Miao Chen and Hilla Medalia
Tsai Chin is one of the first Chinese actresses to make it in the West. She is the daughter of Zhou Xinfang, the father of traditional Peking Opera who was brutally killed during the Chinese Cultural Revolution,and whom she didn’t get to see again after leaving in 1953.
Tsai Chin started her acting career in London, at first she was given small stereotypical roles, being the submissive and exotic woman, usually the ‘bimbo’. Her tenacity and big personality didn’t allow her to let go until she managed to break the stigma and make a real change in the way Asian women were depicted on TV and film. She is the only Chinese who played in both West End and Broadway and was even a Bond girl twice. Parallel to her success in acting,she started singing and immediately was signed by Decca,the same record label as the Beatles.
Her quick rise to stardom was followed by a big and painful fall. She lost all her fortune andfound left alone and anonymous,waiting tables at her brother’s restaurant,’Mr.Chow’s’,to survive.
Tsai’s is bigger than life. Her dramatic life story begins in a different, almost magical place and time. One that is gone forever. With the help of her unique and dramatic storytelling we are transferred to this era, to the Peking Opera, to the cultural elite of China and from it to the western world, the biggest stages, the lime light,the star dust that covered her life for so many years. Her fall from grace after being in the highest of places is a dramatic tale of resilience.
A 14 min assembly made after two days of shooting with Tsai Chin and some of her former co-workers.
Contact: Hilla Medalia Medalia Productions +972-54-4791124
Michelle Miao Shnaghai Seeding Film inc. +86021-58586657
Snake Boy (Shanghai)
2002 60mins documentary
Director: Michelle Chen
Coco Zhao, 24, jazz singer, has come out to the world. His world is Shanghai, former city of sin, these days a more conservative home for gays. But he has yet to tell his mother, a traditional Chinese opera teacher in the distant province of Hunan.
Coco was born in 1977 in Hunan Province. His parents were both local opera teachers and Coco was brought up to respect the opera traditions of the area. At the age of 10, Coco went to study folk songs at the Middle School of Wu Hai Music Conservatory. While he was there, he had his first homosexual experience with a man much older than him. In 1993, Coco came to Shanghai to study music composition at the Shanghai Music Conservatory. To make ends meet, Coco took a job as a singer in local nightclubs. He got chances to meet with several openly foreign homosexuals and he absorbed from them a lot of ideas of how to singing and to live. Coco’s life has been full of ups and downs, including a friendship with Kika, and underground novelist, a love affair with Jelmer, a Dutch dancer, and a failed suicide attempt. In the years since, he has gone from strength to strength. He is now a successful jazz singer with a lot of fans. He sings in many bars and nightclubs across town. He is about to record an album. And he’s not afraid of his sexuality anymore. There’s just one more hurdle. He has to tell his mother.