Hi, Tai Man

Imitation of Life (1934)

  • Dir: John M. Stahl

  • USA, 1934, 111minmins, DCP, test

  • Cast: Claudette Colbert, Warren William, Rochelle Hudson

Two films directed by John M. Stahl – both adaptations of popular literature – were later remade by Douglas Sirk: Magnificent Obsession and this first attempt at filming Fannie Hurst’s 1933 novel. Two single mothers – a white widow and her black housekeeper – form a strong bond over the years, but the maid’s light-skinned daughter refuses to acknowledge her blackness, internalizing society’s racism as a form of selfhatred directed towards her mother. Stahl’s film differs from Sirk’s with a lighter storyline for its white lead that is less critical of the American obsession with success and appearances, and a treatment of the black daughter’s predicament that is not so overtly sexualised.

Academy Awards: 3 nominations including Best Picture

Time ’s Top 25 Important Films On Race


In-theatre Screening


1. Unless otherwise stated, all films (except English-speaking films) are subtitled in English.

2. For screenings at ALL commercial cinemas, tickets are available at URBTIX till 5:00pm one day before respective screenings. After that, tickets will be available only at the box office of the screening venue on the day of screening, subject to availability.

3. Screenings at HK Arts Centre, HK Film Archive and Tai Kwun: For screenings that are about to start in 1 hour, all remaining tickets can only be bought at the box offices of the respective screening venues.

4. For the sold-out screenings at HK Arts Centre and HK Film Archive, a limited number of standing tickets are available at the URBTIX Outlets of the respective venues 30 minutes prior to the screening time. Seating is not guaranteed and subject to availability 30 minutes after the screening time. Each person can purchase 1 standing ticket. The availability of standing tickets is subject to change without prior notice.

5. Screenings at HK Science Museum: There is no URBTIX Outlet at the venue. Tickets are available at URBTIX till 1 hour prior to the respective screenings. Door ticket counter opens 30 minutes before the screening. Limited tickets to non-sold out screenings will be available at the door, subject to availability (Cash Only).

6. While it is the HKIFFS’s policy to secure the best possible print of the original version for all its screenings, the HKIFFS will appreciate its patrons’ understanding on occasions when less than perfect screening copies are screened.