Akeroyd Collection


Leung Chi Wo, Cecile & Marianna, 2018

Cecile & Marianna is a video that traces the parallel narratives of two unrelated women, Cecile Arnaud-Hartmann, a Junior Diplomat in the French Embassy in Sydney and Marianna Liu, a Chinese Bar Hostess in Hong Kong. The film combines incidental footage of the respective cities in a reportage style that lends a subtle sense of covert surveillance as the narrative unfolds. Both women, we come to find out, were suspected of being spies for the Soviets and the Chinese respectively, against the backdrop of the Vietnam War and the Cold War. The intricacies of their entanglements with powerful figures, including the President of the United States of America, and the social and political events of their time are told from the casual distance of the narrator, a musician who worked in similar circuits. As GI’s arrive and leave for periods of rest from the war or as people in positions of political power and diplomats all seek the entertainment centres and financial hubs during their stays, the worlds of the narrator, Cecile and Marianna interconnect in unexpected geographical, temporal and cinematic ways. Descriptions of terrorist attacks and protests lend texture and colour to the story. But it is the artist's search for the traces of the Australian music group The In People, who moved from Sydney to Hong Kong to take over The Den nightclub in the basement of the Hilton Hotel, Hong Kong that binds these stories together through the (not so) soft power of culture.

MediumHD video
Duration17 minutes 36 seconds
Editionof 5