Imitation of Life (1959)

  • Dir: Douglas Sirk

  • USA, 1959, 125minmins, DCP

  • Cast: Lana Turner, John Gavin, Sandra Dee

Sirk’s final film takes on renewed relevance in our time of Black Lives Matter, showing how the fair-skinned daughter of an African-American maid comes to hide her ethnicity and hate her blackness in response to societal discrimination. Sirk tells the story of two single mothers in parallel, as the maid’s employer – a white woman – seeks success on stage to fulfill her career ambitions as an actress. Appearances and the desire for social recognition threaten to usurp the place of love, with a plethora of mirrors and reflected imagery throughout: a key visual motif characteristic of Sirk’s mise-en-scene that is integral to his critique of ’50s America.

Berlin International Film Festival: In Competition

Golden Globe Awards: Best Supporting Actress

27/6 (Sun): Film talk with Derek Lam


In-theatre Screening

  • 2021-05-09 (Sun)
    Buy Ticket2021-06-27 (Sun)


1. Screenings at ALL commercial cinemas : tickets are available at URBTIX till 5pm one day before respective screening, after which tickets will be available only at the box office of the respective venue on the day of screening, subject to availability.

2. Screenings at HK Arts Centre and M+ Cinema : tickets are available at URBTIX outlets until one hour before the screening, after which tickets are available at URBTIX website and mobile app. On-the-day tickets will also be available at the Self-service Ticketing Kiosk of the respective venue, subject to availability.

3. Unless otherwise stated, all films (except English-speaking films) are subtitled in English.

4. While it is the HKIFFS’s policy to secure the best possible print of the original version for all its screenings, the HKIFFS appreciates its patrons’ understanding on occasions when less than perfect screening copies are screened.