St. Joseph Freinademetz – The First Saint to Ever Serve in Hong Kong indie film

★★★

Written and Directed by #LaiNorNGAN

Indie Film Review by #HannahSayer



“The zealous and strong faith of the Chinese is a heavenly gift”

St. Joseph Freinademetz, 1852-1908


As writer and director of the catholic musical St. Joseph Freinademetz – The First Saint to Ever Serve in Hong Kong, Lai Nor NGAN has had a career in choreographing performances for various religious and evangelistic events. Her new film sees the life of Joseph Freinedemetz brought to life in a dramatic new way, where she hones in on her admiration and love for bringing evangelistic stories to life.


The film begins with a prelude which highlights some background to Father Joseph and his faith and how he evangelised in China for 30 years. The structure of the film is split into parts as we follow his journey from Austria to China, as he leaves his family and his home behind to help others in the 1800s.


With event cinema and filmed productions becoming popular with cinema audiences, St. Joseph Freinademetz – The First Saint to Ever Serve in Hong Kong captures many aspects which will appeal to many. The movement, dance and musical elements ensure the production is more lighthearted and juxtaposes the more heavy religious aspects. The production is simply staged yet effective as it allows for the viewer’s focus to be captured by the performances and the intensity of the music. The use of video in the background is another way in which the production combines and blends the two mediums of film and theatre. The backdrop to the history unfolding on stage is presented in an immersive and visually exciting way. The score which accompanies the dramatic action carries emotional weight and adds poignancy to many scenes, especially the scene in which he leaves his hometown and his family behind him to help others.


It is surprising for such an ambitious production that the number of members of the crew had no prior experience in filmmaking. This includes the Producer, the Director and all the actors. St. Joseph Freinademetz – The First Saint to Ever Serve in Hong Kong is a film ultimately about the Catholic faith and the life and history of the first Saint to ever serve in Hong Kong, and its hefty religious bearing in China is apparent, yet many will be able to identify with this story and find things to enjoy in this production.


Watch the official movie trailer for St. Joseph Freinademetz – The First Saint to Ever Serve in Hong Kong below.