Challenge of the Masters. 1976. Hong Kong. Directed by Lau Kar-leung. With Gordon Liu Chia-hui, Chen Kuan-tai, Lau Kar-leung. DCP. In Mandarin; English subtitles. 93 min.
Over 100 films have fictionalized the story of the legendary folk hero Wong Fei-hung, presenting him as a revered master of kung fu and a leader in moral virtues. Lau Kar-leung chose instead to use his sophomore directorial effort to focus on the making of the master, and he would continue to explore this theme in later films. Wong (Gordon Liu Chia-hui) appears as a hotheaded young man initially too rash to become a role model. Under the tutelage of Luk Ah Choi (Chen Kuan-tai), a celebrated practitioner of the Shaolin tradition, Liu undergoes rigorous training not only in kung fu but also, more importantly, in humility and kindness—the qualities that make a true, honorable kung fu master.