Lost Love

Making Waves – Navigators of Hong Kong Cinema

In Competition for the White Mulberry Award for First Time Director

Lost Love

流水落花 (Lauh Seui Lohk Fa)

Hong Kong, 2022, 92’, Cantonese
Directed by: Ka Sing-fung
Screenplay: Lo Kim-fei, Ka Sing-fung
Photography (color): Szeto Yat-lui
Editing: Emily Leung, Lai Kwun-tung
Production Design: Jean Tsoi
Music: Olivier Cong
Producer: Katherine Lee
Cast: Sammi Cheng (Mei), Alun Luk (Bun), Hedwig Tam (Miss Mok), Sean Wong (Sam), Leona Li (Ching), Ng Tsz-kiu (Fleur), Matt Jiu (Ming), Tsui Ka-him (Ka-long), Maya Tsang (Ka-hei), Gordon Lau (Hang), Wong Tsz-hin (Toh), Jo Koo (school bus driver), Wong Wai-kwan (shopkeeper), Rachel Leung (Sam’s mother)

Date of First Release in Territory: March 2nd, 2023 


Hong Kong’s line of socially conscious pictures from emerging directors continues with Lost Love, the debut feature from Ka Sing-fung. Following in the footsteps of intimate dramas like the acclaimed 2018 movie Still Human, Ka’s film looks to the lives of a couple coping with grief and joining the foster-parent system.
Sammi Cheng stars as Mei, who with her husband Bun (Alan Luk) chooses to foster a child after the death of their 3-year-old son, Toh. While there’s income to be had for foster parents, it seems too that bringing a new kid into the house could help fill the painful void in their lives. Bun, for his part, would like to have another go at fathering a child, but Mei is firmly against it given the health issues that befell Toh. 
Soon after the pair get okayed by a social worker and take in a young boy at their quiet, semi-rural home, Mei and Bun find fostering a child isn’t plain sailing. Mei’s blunt and headstrong manner can either provide support or raise tensions in dealing with the child, and for the kid there’s teasing at school because of his family situation. When the birth mother tracks down her son, authorities quickly take him away and a new child is found to move in. Eventually, more children come and go at the home and yet more challenges arise. An effort to adopt one of the kids brings up administrative obstacles, and Mei and Bun drift apart emotionally until they merely coexist at home. But through it all, the experiences of bringing new children into their lives help them grow as parents, as well as perhaps finally come to grips with their loss of Toh.
Lost Love is immediately notable for its uncommon topic: foster parenting and adoption are little spoken of in Hong Kong, with both too often associated with negative views or myths in society. But rather than hammering home messages on social issues, Ka Sing-fung focuses on the individuals in one foster-care household – the family relationships, the roles of parents, dealing with the loss of a child, and the impacts of a troubled background on a child’s development. Ka captures Lost Love’s situation with a steady, observational approach, letting the audience soak up moments of stillness, companionship and heartbreak without underlining any points till the end. Moviegoers are left to piece together their own thoughts on the parents’ coping strategies, for instance, through Ka’s showing of subtle clues like the placement of children’s photos. Gentle use of repetitive imagery – shots of a watercourse, the constant appearance of cold drinks and frozen confections – meanwhile let the film breathe and mark the cycle of time over the decade-plus tale. 
Sammi Cheng provides a distinctly non-glamorous performance as Mei, making a sharp turn from the flashy productions the A-list actress is best known for. Cheng’s star power alone would have given a strong boost to the low-budget picture, but plaudits including a win for Best Actress in the Hong Kong Film Critics Society Awards meant her quality performance became a major talking point when the film reached its full theatrical release. Ka Sing-fung’s measured, quiet coverage of foster care and the domestic lives of two people who take it up sits at a far remove from Hong Kong cinema’s more common hustle and bustle, but it can hold rewards for those drawn into its sensitive portrait. 


Ka Sing-fung

Former journalist Ka Sing-fung has written and directed several short films, including the documentary The Art of Cantonese-style Congee (2017) and the Fresh Wave International Short Film Festival entry A Bird Goes By (2019). In 2019, Ka’s first feature film directing project Lost Love, which he co-wrote, was selected as a project of the 6th First Feature Film Initiative – Professional Group, receiving funding of HK$8 million (US$1.01 million) from the Hong Kong government’s Film Development Fund. Lost Love was completed in 2022.


2022 – Lost Love

Tim Youngs
Film director: KA Sing-fung
Year: 2022
Running time: 92'
Country: Hong Kong
28/04 - 07:30 PM
Teatro Nuovo Giovanni da Udine
28-04-2023 19:30 28-04-2023 21:02Europe/Rome Lost Love Far East Film Festival Teatro Nuovo Giovanni da UdineCEC Udine cec@cecudine.org