(TORONTO, ON) – Academy Award winner Ruby Yang’s My Voice, My Life is an inspiring and thoughtful documentary about 31 Hong Kong high school students from the lowest rated Band 3 and visually impaired schools which produce musicals.
Aside from the obvious impediment of being visually impaired, many of the Band 3 high school students have emotional and relationship problems or are from the less advanced Chinese mainland. In short, it’s a difficult crowd to mold a musical production around.
Yet, despite moments of despair and difficulty, the students perform brilliantly.
Originally, many of the students were ill disciplined, lacking self confidence, having low self esteem, shy, or suffering from learning disabilities. The tremendous effort, and belief that art can create character by the various directors and teachers, not only leads to a successful production, but does transform the character of the students.
The process forced them to deal with their disabilities and dysfunctions and transformed them into happier, well adjusted, and confident young men and women.
In fact, not only are the students transformed, but their parents are equally transformed to the point they have a better understanding of the disabilities and dysfunctions of their children. This just might be the type of film some tissue is required.
Most unfortunately, the soundtrack is excessively schlocky.
(My Voice, My Life, director Ruby Yang, Hong Kong, 91 minutes, Cantonese with English subtitles, presented by Reel Asian Film Festival to celebrate Asian Heritage Month, screened at Jackman Hall at the Art Gallery of Ontario on 21 May 2016)