MoMA Presents

Yonfan’s No. 7 Cherry Lane

Jan 21–Feb 4, 2021


No, 7 Cherry Lane. 2019. Hong Kong. Written and directed by Yonfan. Courtesy the filmmaker and Far Sun Film Company

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Winner of Best Screenplay at the 2019 Venice Film Festival, Yonfan’s No. 7 Cherry Lane is a glorious achievement in animation, an erotic fever dream set in Hong Kong’s “Little Shanghai” neighborhood of North Point during the anti-colonial riots of the 1960s, about the forbidden love triangle between a tutor of English, a divorcée who has fled Taiwan’s White Terror regime, and her almost ethereally beautiful daughter. Praised by critics as “a work of exquisite nostalgic when life imitates art” (BBC) and “a delirium, beguilingly kitsch evocation of late 1960s Hong-Kong” (Variety), Yonfan’s first animated feature is a slyly seductive homage to cinema (All about Eve, Belladonna of Sadness, and the films of Simone Signoret and Wong Kar-wai), literature (Proust, Jane Eyre, the classic Qing Dynasty novel Dream of the Red Chamber), and the power of art to provoke memory, desire, and revolt. Featuring an all-star voice ensemble including Sylvia Chang, Zhao Wei, Alex Lam, and Ann Hui (as well as the directors Tian Zhuangzhuang and Fruit Chan), No. 7 Cherry Lane is told through a unique animation process of converting 3D character renderings into thousands of 2D colored pencil drawings on rice paper that—whirlwind turn by whirlwind turn—evoke woodcuts, anime, scroll painting, and the deco decadence of an Erté illustration. Yonfan observes, “No. 7 Cherry Lane is a story of love in desperation with all the contradictory ingredients: in and out, high and low, vice and virtue, war and peace, beauty and the beast, east and west, unorthodox and classical, spiritual and physical...all of these are merged into thousands of hand drawn images that nourish the whole film. It is my first attempt at animation because only through this form of art can my desolation of splendor be delivered.”

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Organized by Joshua Siegel, Curator, Department of Film.

  • This film series is part of MoMA Presents.

    Film at MoMA is made possible by CHANEL.

    Additional support is provided by the Annual Film Fund. Leadership support for the Annual Film Fund is provided by Debra and Leon D. Black and by Steven Tisch, with major contributions from The Contemporary Arts Council of The Museum of Modern Art, Jo Carole and Ronald S. Lauder, the Association of Independent Commercial Producers (AICP), The Brown Foundation, Inc., of Houston, The Junior Associates of The Museum of Modern Art.


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