My Mother Is a Belly Dancer

My Mother Is a Belly Dancer (師奶唔易做, lit: "It's not easy to be a see lai") is a 2006 Hong Kong film directed by Lee Kung-Lok. It is part of Andy Lau's "Focus: First Cut" series, focusing on promising young directors from Asia. Andy Lau makes a cameo in the film.

My Mother Is a Belly Dancer
Directed byLee Kung-lok
Produced byAndy Lau
Lorna Tee
Wong Ching-po
Chen On Chu
Screenplay byErica Lee
Hai Yan
Story byLee Kun-lok
Susan Chan
StarringKristal Tin
Gordon Lam
Moni Tung
Suet Lei
Amy Chum
Andy Lau
Music byPaul Wong
CinematographyJason Kwan
Edited byCheung Kin-hung
Daniel Yu
Distributed byFocus Films
Release date
  • 9 November 2006 (2006-11-09)
CountryHong Kong
Box officeHK $233,918


The film is a portrait of three "see lai", a colloquial term used in Hong Kong to describe wives, especially housewives, who are approaching or in their middle ages. Mrs. Chan (Amy Shum) is a housewife with a grown-up daughter who tends to be domineering of her husband. Mrs. Lee (Sydney Suet Lei), on the other hand, is meek, with a chauvinistic husband (Ken Tong) and a young son who is troubling her with his poor grades. Mrs. Wong (Crystal Tin) is a garbage lady who has to support a family of four daughters. Her doting tailor husband (Gordon Lam) is out of a job, and the family has to make ends meet nonetheless. Her life is thrown out of order when she is laid off her job.

Mrs Chan and Mrs Lee originally join the belly dancing classes held by foreign teacher Pasha (Pasha Umer Hood) out of curiosity. Pasha replaces their traditional dance teacher and many in the neighborhood are unwilling to learn the dance as they think it indecent. Before long, Mrs Wong and a younger woman, single mother Cherry (Monie Tung), join them. Cherry is a twenty-something gold digger who nonetheless wants to find a father for her baby boy.

The belly dancing classes become the highlight of the lives of these women, as they try to cope with upheavals and stresses in their private lives. Mrs Chan's husband has an affair with a younger girl and she is thinking of divorce, yet unable to take the definitive step to break with her husband. Mrs Lee's husband objects to her classes and bar her from attending them, especially after her understanding mother-in-law faints after dancing too vigorously during a belly dance gathering. Mrs Wong has to deal with the stress of having no income, even though her husband voices his support for her belly dancing. Cherry intends to end her gold digging ways and settle down with someone who can accept her baby son.

The film ends with each finding solution to her problem: Mrs Chan accepts divorce after support from her grown-up daughter; Mrs Lee reunites with her husband after moving out briefly; Mrs Wong finds a new job, and even Cherry discovers someone who cares enough for her and her baby son.

Cast and roles

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