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Chinese Take Away (2002)

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clip Marriage resisters

This clip chosen to be G

Clip description

Anna Yen says in a voice-over, ‘Once upon a time, long ago, in a land far, far away’. The story she tells is about Yen’s grandmother’s region becoming famous for silk growing. There are extreme close-ups of silk passing through the eyes of needles and then layers of bolts of hanging colourful silk, as Yen in an old-fashioned garment moves fluidly among the silk. She speaks about the women in the silk factories becoming marriage resisters.

Curator’s notes

At the start of the film, Yen asks the question, ‘Why do we need stories? Is it so we can understand our own lives better?’ At several points throughout the film, she narrates, ‘Once upon a time, long ago, in a land far, far away’, a phrase familiar for signifying a fairytale, a fable, an allegory. Yen uses it also to indicate a different direction or ‘chapter’ in the film.

This chapter is about the marriage resisters, women who worked together in the silk factories and lived away from their families. They bonded together in sisterhoods and did not want to marry. Many of the women who were forced to marry and stay with their husbands, committed suicide. This foreshadows the story of Yen’s own mother, who was a 'modern woman’ who had come to Australia to be a student and not marry.

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australianscreen is produced by the National Film and Sound Archive. By using the website you agree to comply with the terms and conditions described elsewhere on this site. The NFSA may amend the 'Conditions of Use’ from time to time without notice.

All materials on the site, including but not limited to text, video clips, audio clips, designs, logos, illustrations and still images, are protected by the Copyright Laws of Australia and international conventions.

When you access australianscreen you agree that:

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  • You may download materials for your personal use or for non-commercial educational purposes, but you must not publish them elsewhere or redistribute clips in any way.
  • You may embed the clip for non-commercial educational purposes including for use on a school intranet site or a school resource catalogue.
  • The National Film and Sound Archive’s permission must be sought to amend any information in the materials, unless otherwise stated in notices throughout the Site.

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ANY UNAUTHORISED USE OF MATERIAL ON THIS SITE MAY RESULT IN CIVIL AND CRIMINAL LIABILITY.

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