A film by Ruby Yang
2015, 91 minutes
No. 067


Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Ruby Yang’s My Voice, My Life follows an unlikely group of students from four Hong Kong middle and high schools cast in a musical theater performance.

From low self-esteem to blindness, each student confronts unique personal challenges in the process of developing his or her character. Many of the musical theater troupe’s students come from Hong Kong’s underprivileged schools, which admit the territory’s academically underperforming students. Others come from a school for the blind that seeks to teach its students how to perform basic tasks and function in the sighted world.

Bad boy Jason regularly cuts class, smokes, and is generally a troublemaker. Coby feels she is mediocre at everything, and struggles to stay focused. Tsz Nok lost his eyesight last year, and confronts his family’s disgrace at his blindness. Wing Wing immigrated to Hong Kong two years ago, and just wants to fit in. Fat Yin is repeating a grade in school, and hides behind a tough guy attitude. Tabitha feels immense shame that unlike her other friends, she did not make the cut for the top tier secondary schools. High school dropout Jessica is an 18-year- old who went back to grade 8 in the hope of getting her life back on track.

Brought together to sing, dance, and act, the students question their own abilities and balk at the spotlight. Teachers and administrators question whether this ragtag band will be able to work together, much less put on a successful musical. But Nick Ho, director of the production, holds onto hope that his tough love approach will unite the students and bring out their inner performers.

Official Selection, Asian American International Film Festival
Official Selection, Hong Kong International Film Festival
Official Selection, SXSW/edu Conference & Festival

"Critics Pick! There are few feelings as glorious as spreading your wings onstage for the first time. Ruby Yang captures that rare electricity in her documentary My Voice, My Life."
- The New York Times

"An inspirational documentary...about art transforming the lives of at-risk and disabled students."
- Village Voice

"Oscar-winner Ruby Yang’s new documentary about a group of Hong Kong students involved in a high-school musical seemed far removed from her acclaimed films on social issues facing China. Until now. My Voice, My Life is taking on added significance amid the student-led pro-democracy demonstrations in Hong Kong."
- Wall Street Journal