In Long Life, Happiness and Prosperity, twelve-year old Mindy Ho (Valerie Tian) tries Taoist magic to fix her single mother’s (Sandra Oh) financial situation and seemingly hopeless romantic prospects. Mindy’s misdirected charms appear to cause an aging security guard to lose his job and a local butcher to win the lottery. The guard, the butcher, and her mother’s stories all intersect, bound together by Mindy’s attempts at magic intervention. Set in the Chinese Canadian community, Long Life, Happiness and Prosperity is a story of hope and the importance of keeping faith in this sometimes difficult world.
Mina Shum was born in Hong Kong in 1965. She immigrated to Canada with her family at the age of nine months and grew up in Vancouver. As a teenager there, she had a part-time job at a McDonald’s restaurant that she says “… taught me the importance of being able to multi-task…” She left home at the age of eighteen.
Shum attended the University of British Columbia and obtained a Bachelor of Arts (Theatre) in 1988 and a Diploma in Film and Television Studies in 1990. Later, she trained to become a director at the Canadian Film Centre in Toronto.
Shum has written and directed several feature films. She developed her first, Double Happiness (1994), while a resident at the Canadian Film Centre. This film is a semi-autobiographical story of a Chinese-Canadian girl who struggles with the conflicts that arise between her family’s traditional expectations and her desire for independence. Double Happiness premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 1994… read more
Overall, I found this film sweet and heartwarming with a balance of comedic quips and teary scenes. All the stories explored all aspects of Asian ideals in a Western setting and I'm pretty sure that many viewers of Asian descent will relate to a multitude of characters in this film. I wouldn't consider this an Asian-American film since this takes place in Vancouver, Canada.
When you are only twelve with very little money or power to change things, the last resort may be to practice magic and cast spells… somewhat like Harry Potter. This is what Mindy tries, because she… read review