Winnipeg Cinematheque

The Curse of Willow Song + Q&A with director Karen Lam

Available in 01d 15h 42m 57s
Available April 21, 2021 5:00 AM UTC
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Now in its eighth year, National Canadian Film Day (NCFD) has taken root as our largest annual celebration of Canadian culture. It is about giving Canadians an opportunity to gather together (in person or virtually) and celebrate the incredible achievements of our nation’s filmmakers. Every year hundreds of screenings take place on every conceivable platform and, in normal times, in every conceivable venue. On April 21, 2021, Canadians everywhere will be watching a great Canadian film. There's a wealth of fun ways to participate, and a variety of special events and offerings available all day long

Having served her time for arson, Willow Song (Valerie Tian) is now fending for herself on the unforgiving streets of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. There she is asked to contend with...her ongoing struggle to stay clean, constant harassment in her workplace and festering resentment towards Asian-Canadians. With the fates seemingly conspiring against her, she’s thrown a lifeline by a figure from her past (Elfina Luk). As Willow holes up in an abandoned warehouse, her latent psychokinetic abilities manifest and an uncanny transformation commences. Drawing inspiration from manga, ghost stories, interviews with female inmates and personal experiences, Lam delivers an exceedingly eerie supernatural thriller steeped in searing social commentary. What’s perhaps most chilling about Curse is its compelling suggestion that we’ve left Willow with no alternative but to become a monster.(VIFF)


*Best BC Film, 2020 Vancouver International Film Festival


“A very timely feature film by local filmmaker Karen Lam, The Curse of Willow Song explores all-too-real themes of addiction, racism and the socioeconomic divide through a supernaturally horrific filter.” - Thalia Stopa, Scout 


"Filmed in glorious black and white on location in East Vancouver and Langley, Lam’s spooky drama gives the city a dark and hostile profile...a superbly nuanced performance by Vancouver actor Valerie Tian." - John Jane, Review Vancouver

  • Year
  • Runtime
    90 minutes
  • Language
  • Country
  • Director
    Karen Lam
  • Producer
    Karen Wong, Karen Lam