TV drama 'Macao Family' shows big changes, consistent themes

By Zhang Ni and Chen Xi Source:Global Times Published: 2019/12/11 21:08:40

Promotional material of Macao Family Photo: Courtesy of Macao Family

"During filming, every time I went home, my daughter would always smell around and thought the house smelt different. It later turned out to be the smell of almond cookies from my clothes and skin," said actor Yam Tat-wah from the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, who was part of the TV drama Macao Family

As a realistic work dedicated to the 20th anniversary of Macao's return to the motherland, Macao Family focuses on a century-old bakery shop on an old street in the Macao Special Administrative Region, showing how three generations of people have run the shop under the background of Macao's changes in the past 20 years. The drama was released on CCTV 1 on November 29 and became China's top prime TV series.

A novel with the same name as the TV drama was also released on Sunday.

Yam, who played the role of a later generation running the bakery shop, told the Global Times that the industries and characters in the drama all originated from Macao. "Almond cookies are a very important product in Macao. The entire industry is well-ordered, and the handicrafts and mechanical production are well integrated, retaining the simple folk customs of Macao," he said.

As the chief screenwriter, Liang Zhenhua told the Global Times that the biggest difficulty in creating the drama was how to put the big themes of the era into the plot and characters so that it would resonate with people.

"A story of small figures living amid big changes can easily touch the audience. I really like to play this kind of role, whether it is the watchmaker I played in My People, My Country or my role in Macao Family," Yam said, adding that he hoped that the drama could let younger generations know more about Macao and see things that they are not familiar with. "Macao has really changed a lot. When I was a kid, I went to Macao from Hong Kong by a big cargo ship when I filmed The Shell Game in 1979. Now it is more convenient because we have the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area."

He also mentioned that the Macao people he approached when he filmed the drama had a strong sense of national identity. "I think this is the result of education. I have read textbooks in Macao. Many of the concepts in the book are basically consistent with the historical cognition of the mainland. Also, many schools in Macao will raise the national flag. The education system has established a whole cognitive structure for Macao people. No matter how far you go and how long you leave home for, your roots cannot change," Yam said.


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