The Wandering of Three Siblings
The Governor of Henan Province Tiunn Gia̍t-hu, kills the father of the three brother and sisters and forces their mother to be his wife. The three young children escape from the bloodshed, seeking protection from their uncle, who treats them as his own. However, the children’s aunt, who has a lover, secretly plans to harm them. As another tragedy strikes the family, the children have no choice but flee again. Wandering across the country, the trio busk along the way to support themselves and involuntarily get into all kinds of danger and adventure. Having travelled a long distance, they eventually return to the capital in the hope of being reunited with their mother. Meanwhile, they learn kungfu from their father’s master, vowing to kill Tiunn Gia̍t-hu, with their own hands in revenge for their father’s death.
The Wandering of Three Siblings was produced by Yongda Film Company and directed by Shao Lo-hui, who made Six Gifted Scholar’s Romance of the West-chamber, the first Taiwanese-language film, with a Taiwanese opera troupe called “Duma”. In The Wandering of Three Siblings, Shao collaborated with Kung Le Society, a Taiwanese Opera Troupe, and the movie was a huge success when it was released, breaking the box-office records of Taiwanese-language films at that time. “Brother”, the most important role in the film, was played by Hsu Hsiu-nien, who was only nine years old back then. A junior member of Kung Le Society, Hsu had to not only show her great singing skills but perform various difficult acts on location. The first half of the sound recording on the original copy was damaged and the title sequence was lost, but nevertheless, after the comparison and integration, the restored version is as closest to the original as possible, allowing us to see the look of the combination of the early Taiwanese-language cinema and Taiwanese opera.
Born Shao Shou-li in 1919, Shao Lo-hui was a celebrated director in Taiwanese-language cinema. Having lived in Japan, Shao studied at Tokyo Imperial Drama and Film School and worked as an actor at the Shochiku Studios in Osaka, learning film production. In 1947, Shao founded a theatre company after he returned to Taiwan. In 1955, he launched his career as director with Six Gifted Scholar’s Romance of the West-chamber, a Taiwanese opera film shot on 16 mm, which became the pioneer in Taiwanese-language cinema. Later under his stage name Mei Fang-yu, Shao worked as an actor. Most of Shao’s directorial works were Taiwanese-language films, although he made a film in Japan in 1960 and a Mandarin-speaking film, Tears of a Woman in Need (huang-nv-hsin-lei), in 1968. Shao retired from film production in 1970 and was best known for The Wandering of Three Siblings and Love Never Ceases.