Yang, Yee-shan Elsa

Critical Biography    Filmography    Reviews    Links   Bibliography

Yang, Yee-shan Elsa  – Critical Biography  Top

Elsa Yang
Elsa Yang

Born in Wuhan, China, Elsa Yang moved to Hong Kong in the 1970s. She studied abroad in Japan and Australia, obtaining a social sciences degree from Macquarie University, before completing the PhD program at the University of Hong Kong’s Department of Japanese Studies in 2007. Known primarily for the screenplays she has written for director Herman Yau, with whom she regularly collaborates, Yang has also in recent years written for other directors. Her first screenplay to be directed by Yau was From the Queen to the Chief Executive (2001), a fictitious account based on a real-life story regarding juvenile offenders indefinitely left behind in detention by Hong Kong’s colonial authorities following the 1997 handover owing to a leniency clause in British law. This debut film showcased Yang’s sense of social concern and her interest in marginalized lives, characteristics of her screenwriting work that would also be displayed in such further Herman Yau collaborations as Give Me a Chance (2003), about troubled youth who turn to street dancing as a means of expression, and Whispers and Moans (2007), a set of stories about the lives of sex workers in Hong Kong based on scrupulous research conducted by Yang. The critical success of Whispers and Moans was such that it led to a sequel, True Women for Sale (2008), also directed by Yau and written by Yang. With All About Love (2010), her screenplay for Ann Hui’s lesbian comedy set amidst a yuppie milieu, Yang began writing scripts regularly for other directors. She has written Hi, Fidelity (2011) – a drama about adulterous wives and mistresses – for director Calvin Poon, as well as collaborating with Taiwanese director Teng Yung-Shing on Return Ticket (2011), a road movie starring Qin Hailu about a migrant worker who makes her way from Shenzhen to Shanghai. In 2012, she wrote yet another screenplay for Herman Yau: Love Lifting (2012), a relationship drama starring Chapman To and Elaine Kong.

filmoFilmography   Top

Feature Films:

Role Title (English) Title (Chinese) Year
Writer Live at Love 活路:妒忌私家偵探社 2014
My Mandala 原來你還在 2013
Co-writer with Yau Lai-to Herman and Wang Ya-wen Lifting Love 高舉‧愛 2012
Co-writer with Qin Hai-lu, Teng Yung-shing, Yang Nan-chian, Ge Wen-zhe and Xi Ran Return Ticket 到阜陽六百里 2011
Co-writer with Poon Yuen-leung Calvin Hi, Fidelity 出軌的女人 2011
Writer All About Love 得閒炒飯 2010
Co-writer with Yau Lai-to Herman True Women for Sale 性工作者2:我不賣身 我賣子宮 2008
Co-writer with Yau Lai-to Herman Whispers and Moans 性工作者十日談 2007
Co-writer with Yau Lai-to Herman Give Me a Chance 給他們一個機會 2003
Co-writer with Yau Lai-to Herman Happy Family 風流家族 2002
Writer From the Queen to the Chief Executive 等候董建華發落 2001

reviewReviews   Top

Lifting Love (2012):

Love HK Film – Hi, Fidelity

MovieXclusive – LOVE LIFTING DVD (2012)

Twitch Film – Review: LOVE LIFTING lacks both weight and strength

Return Ticket (2011): 

Film Business Asia – Return Ticket

Taipei Times – Movie review: Return Ticket 到阜陽六百里

The China Post – Return Ticket (到阜陽六百里)

Variety – Review: ‘Return Ticket’

Hi, Fidelity (2011):

Film Business Asia – Hi, Fidelity

Love HK Film – Hi, Fidelity

The HK Neo – [CFF] Hi, Fidelity 出軌的女人 (2011) – Hong Kong

Screen Daily – Hi, Fidelity

Twitch Film – HKIFF 2011: HI, FIDELITY Review

All About Love (2010):

Asia Pacific Arts – AFM 2010: Hong Kong Films

Beyond Hollywood.com – All About Love (2010) Movie Review

Dr. Sean Tierney – Movie Review: All About Love

Film Business Asia – All About Love

Love HK Film – All About Love

MovieXclusive – All About Love

Screen Crave – Interview: Ann Hui for All About Love

The China Post – All About Love

Yam Magazine – All About Love

True Women for Sale (2008):

HK Magazine – True Women for Sale

Love HK Film – True Women For Sale

Twitch Film – TRUE WOMEN FOR SALE Review and Trailer

Whispers and Moans (2007):

(A Nutshell) Review – [HKIFF] Whispers and Moans (性工作者十日談) (World Premiere)

Asia Movie Web – Whispers and Moans

Hong Kong Cinemagic – WHISPERS AND MOANS (2007)

Hong Kong Film – Whispers and Moans

Love HK Film – Whispers and Moans

Meniscus – Herman Yau’s “Whisper and Moans”

So Good Reviews – Whispers And Moans (2007)


Variety – Review: ‘Whispers and Moans’

Give Me a Chance (2003)

Love HK Film – Give Me a Chance


JMSC HKU – “All About Love” Public Forum (English Version, video material)

– Elsa Yang
– Stereotypical view of HK women a turn-off

Time Out Hong Kong – HK’s gigolo scene

linkLinks   Top


Hong Kong Cinemagic – ELSA CHAN

Hong Kong Movie Database – Yeung Yee-Shan

IMDB – Yee Shan Yeung

biblioBibliography   Top

  1. Ingham, Mike. “From Xu Xi to the Chief Executive: Hong Kong in the Dock.” Hong Kong Culture: Word and Image. Ed. Kam, Louie. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 2010. 97-112. Print.
  2. Veg, Sebastian. “Anatomy of the Ordinary: New Perspectives in Hong Kong Independent Cinema.” Journal of Chinese Cinemas 8.1 (2014): 73-92. Print.
  3. —. “Hong Kong by Night: Prostitution and Cinema in Herman Yau’s Whispers and Moans.” China Perspectives 2 (2007): 87-88. Print.
  4. Williams, Tony. “The Hong Kong Sex Industry.” The Asian Cult Cinema Magazine Second quarter 2009. Print.
  5. Yang, Yishan. Whispers and Moans : Interviews with the Men and Women of Hong Kong’s Sex Industry. Hong Kong: Blacksmith Books, 2006. Print.