Esther Eng directed the 1st film Bruce Lee was in; he played a baby girl
December 4, 2019 10:46 AM   Subscribe

Esther Eng had a lot more firsts than that though: first woman to direct a Chinese-language film in the US; first woman to direct a film in Hong Kong; first woman to film in color. Unfortunately, all her films are lost, but there is a documentary about her, Golden Gate Girls (review).

Catch another glimpse of Esther Eng in a photo in this article on Arthur Dong's new book Hollywood Chinese.
posted by larrybob (3 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
If your local library is part of Kanopy, you can watch the documentary there.
posted by hopeless romantique at 10:56 AM on December 4, 2019 [1 favorite]

Thanks for the post. I'm happy to learn about Ester Eng and while I don't at all want to diminish her accomplishments, I'm not sure the statement in the article is quite accurate:

the audience was ready for a unique experience: watching the first motion picture made in Hollywood with only Chinese actors portraying Chinese characters, produced and directed by Chinese filmmakers. Equally extraordinary, one of its producers was a woman,

Marion Wong directed The Curse of the Quon Gwon: When the Far East Mingles with West back in 1916 which was advertised then to be the first and only film made by an all-Chinese cast and an all-Chinese company. That film is partially ( Two reels of The Curse of the Quon Gwon were found back in the early 2000s and can be seen on youtube.) I just hope some of Eng's films likewise are rediscovered.
posted by gusottertrout at 11:17 AM on December 4, 2019 [3 favorites]

Very exciting to learn about her. Thanks for this post!
posted by mixedmetaphors at 6:59 PM on December 4, 2019 [1 favorite]

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