What happens when one half of a longstanding lesbian couple dies in a place where same-sex relationships are not fully recognized by the law and have been tolerated, rather than accepted, by society?
In Ray Yeung’s “All Shall Be Well,” which premieres this month in the Panorama section of the Berlin Film Festival, the answer seems to be an unseemly scramble in which rights, friendships and morals are all trampled on.
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“The problem is particularly emphasized in a place like Hong Kong, where property prices are out of reach for most people, especially for the younger generation. What would you do if suddenly a decent apartment falls into your lap? Would you give it away to somebody you maybe considered as a stranger?” Yeung tells Variety. “Would the obligations be different in the case of an unmarried heterosexual couple, which society is more accepting of?”
“My film is more about the relationship between the lesbian couple and the deceased person’s family. It’s not just purely about ‘coming out,’ because that has already been accepted. But how deep is that acceptance?” he asks.
Yeung and his producers took the concept to multiple film project markets (under the previous title “Today.. Tomorrow..”) and found a warm reception. But the development and financing period became unusually extended by the COVID pandemic and the need to fully-finance the picture from private sources. “Once it was financed, casting and production were less complicated than my previous movies,” Yeung says.
His most recent feature effort was “Suk Suk” (aka “Twilight’s Kiss” in certain markets), a multiple award-winning 2019 picture about two elderly men who are secretly gay lovers.
“We completed ‘All Shall Be Well’ in August and held on for a good festival premiere. It’s very good to be invited back to Berlin, after showing my previous one here too,” Yeung says. “Having the world premiere here is made more attractive both because Berlin has a market and because Films Boutique, our sales agent, is a German company.”
Watch the trailer for “All Shall Be Well” below.
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