Imitation of Life (1934)
Dir: John M. Stahl
USA, 1934, English, 111min, DCP
Cast: Claudette Colbert, Warren William, Rochelle Hudson
Two films directed by John M. Stahl – both adaptations of popular literature – were later remade by Douglas Sirk: Magnificent Obsession
and this first attempt at filming Fannie Hurst’s 1933 novel. Two single mothers – a white widow and her black housekeeper – form a strong bond over the years, but the maid’s light-skinned daughter refuses to acknowledge her blackness, internalizing society’s racism as a form of selfhatred directed towards her mother. Stahl’s film differs from Sirk’s with a lighter storyline for its white lead that is less critical of the American obsession with success and appearances, and a treatment of the black daughter’s predicament that is not so overtly sexualised.
Academy Awards: 3 nominations including Best Picture
Time ’s Top 25 Important Films On Race
- Hong Kong Arts Centre Louis Koo Cinema (Venue)
- HK Science Museum Lecture Hall (Venue)
- Hong Kong Film Archive (Venue)
- K11 Art House (Venue)
- The Metroplex (Venue)
- Festival Grand Cinema (Venue)
- the sky (Venue)
- MCL Telford Cinema (Venue)
- Tai Kwun (Venue)
- MOViE MOViE (Venue)
- Chinese Subtitles
- Category III
- Post-screening discussion with the director
- Director and/or actor(s) will meet the audience
- Post-screening talk
- Full House
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