Even thought it has been almost twenty years, but I remember like it was just yesterday. Directing Back to Roots is the most unforgettable experience of my life. Not only did the whole crew have to climb a muddy slope for two hours during the shoot, we also witnessed the grand beauty of the Hukou Waterfall, in addition to the fright and hilarity of my being washed down more than a hundred meters up on a rainy day…
Like many Hong Kongers of that era, my lack of familiarity with China led to a lot of presumptions and suspicions. Working in China prompted selfreflection, giving me the inspiration for Back to Roots. Yet, faced with a story about the Loess Plateau, a native Hong Konger like myself was totally clueless. I decided to visit Shanxi to research my script. There, I lived among the villagers in their Yaodong (cave dwelling) and experienced the life of an impoverished farming community, of which I was entirely ignorant. During the preparation and the shoot, the villagers’ contended and unhurried disposition was a breath of fresh air for a goaloriented city slicker like me. Such cleansing of my soul left a lasting impression. And with that spirit, I finished Back to Roots.
Raymond Leung Pun-hei graduated from Television Broadcast’s (TVB) artist training program in 1980 and completed television directing courses the following year. He first served as production assistant at the television station, the beginning of a career in film and television of more than 30 years, with experience in directing, producing, writing, editing, among other production duties. He is a member of the Hong Kong Film Directors’ Guild and the Hong Kong Screenwriters’ Guild.
In 1989, Leung directed his first film, The First Time is The Last Time, which was honored with three nominations, including Best Actress, at the Hong Kong Film Awards. His Back to Roots (1994), an earthy drama shot in China, was shown in competition at the 45th Berlin International Film Festival. Since 1998, Leung had turned his focus to directing television serial dramas.
|Year||Chinese name||English name||Directors|
||Back to Roots|
||Justice My Fool|
||Weakness of Man|
||The First Time is the Last Time|