No. 66 (Autumn 2006) Hong Kong Essays

Going to the Movies
By Du Du
Translated by Eva Hung

AS A CHILD I often went with my elder brother to the cinema for the late afternoon shows. The medium priced seats cost forty cents, and the two of us could go in on just one ticket and share a seat in the cinema. Since I was quite young, I sat on the arm of our seat. That way my brother could sit more comfortably, while my elevated position afforded me a full view of the screen. We saw Burt Lancaster in Apache and The Crimson Pirate, and Ingrid Bergman in Joan of Arc. Though my brother was terribly moved by Bergman's performance, the film did not leave any strong impression on me. All I remember was that before she died, Joan held two sticks in her hands to form a cross.

I also remember that as the movies played, I would keep asking my brother: 'Who are the bad guys? Who are the good guys?' To a child, people had to be either black or white. Dividing everyone into two neat categories-our side and the enemy side-meant that everything would fall into place, and I could then go on watching the movies with peace of mind. But I don't recall very clearly whether my brother ever answered my questions.

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