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Year: 2003
UK: ICA Projects
Cast: Jackie Chang
Director: Mabel Cheung
Countries: China / Hong Kong
Language: Cantonese (English subtitles)
UK: 96 mins
UK Release Date: 22 August 2003


In telling Jackie Chan's story, this compelling documentary takes the audience through almost a century of China's history. A Nationalist secret agent and small-time gangster, Chan's father moved to Shanghai after his first wife's death to 'get some turf', leaving his young sons to fend for themselves. Here he met Chan's mother, an impoverished woman with two daughters to support - which she did through opium smuggling, gambling and her role as a big sister in the underworld.

When the Maoist revolution made it impossible for Nationalists to stay, Chan's mother and father fled south to Hong Kong, leaving the girls behind. Born in 1954, Chan himself was separated from his parents when they moved to Australia having enrolled him in the Peking Opera academy to hone his acrobatic skills for the following decade. Chang's celebrity aside, his story is not unique amongst Chinese families and the film shows the resilience of children to the slings and arrows of history.

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