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The Lost Daughter of Happiness

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Gold Mountain: Atom Egoyan Adapting “The Lost Daughter of Happiness”

Gold Mountain: Atom Egoyan Adapting “The Lost Daughter of Happiness”

Cable television isn’t meant for watching during the summer months but a spanking brand new show on Canadiana cinema on the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corp) debuted this weekend and naturally piqued our interest. The Filmmakers will talk cinema with seminal film samples from the Canuck vault in Polley, Villeneuve, Dolan and Director X, and the first film (and filmmaker) invite was the Oscar nominated The Sweet Hereafter and Atom Egoyan.

While Egoyan will next work on his short segment on the Rotterdam, I Love You omnibus, this year he has actually been working on a new book to film project. Quoting Egoyan, he said that it is “based on a novel by Geling Yan, who is a great Chinese writer and I’ve done this adaption, we’ll see if the film is going to get made”. The love story would also be a period pic as it is set in San Francisco’s Chinatown (the largest chinatown outside of Asia) of the 1880s. We don’t know if the filmmaker will be keeping the novel’s original title.

Gist: Based on Geling Yan’s first novel published in 2001, The Lost Daughter of Happiness chronicles the life of a Chinese prostitute named Fusang, who became a celebrity in 1870s San Francisco. Kidnapped from her village in China to be sold as a prostitute in “Gold Mountain,” as the Chinese immigrants dubbed San Francisco.

Worth Noting: Yan’s work has been frequently adapted for the big screen – most recently Zhang Yimou’s Coming Home.

Do We Care?: We’ve been awaiting Egoyan’s comeback film for a while now. After three straight projects in the thriller genre (2014’s The Captive and 2015’s Remember), Egoyan will likely move closer to murky underbelly world and curiously this falls in the same decade as Hou Hsiao Hsien’s Flowers of Shanghai.

Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at, established in 2000. A regular at Sundance, Cannes, and Venice, Eric holds a BFA in film studies from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013, he served on the narrative competition jury at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson’s "This Teacher" (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022, he was a New Flesh Juror for Best First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Current top films for 2023 include The Zone of Interest (Glazer), Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Pham Thien An), Totem (Lila Avilés), La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher), All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Raven Jackson).

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