Song of Hope Synopsis


Song of Hope

Three women in three generations struggle with love and pain through times of great political upheaval in China...
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Three women from three generations find themselves in a desperate struggle against destiny, in a time of monumental change. Their story begins in the late Qing dynasty, in a well respected family of the Imperial courtier.

Mo Li is the daughter of an Imperial courtier. Her adventure begins even before birth when her mother is forced to flee Beijing during the Boxer Rebellion. Having survived the hazardous journey she finally arrives at Peony Land, the family estate in XiAn, where MoLi is born. Eight months old MoLi still awaits the arrival of her father from Beijing, but tied up with duties from the Imperial Court, he is unable to make his way to his family. When at last he succeeds in reaching Peony Land, he finds that his only child MoLi has been kidnapped by bandits. The distraught family use every means possible to find her and beg the Imperial Court to use official force. They contact Triade, investigate the child markets and the red light districts, all to no avail.
Ten years later they by chance come to hear of a Chinese girl living with a British family and their desperate search finally comes to and end. They learn that the seven year old MoLi successfully managed to escape from her kidnappers and was found and adopted by a British family. MoLi feels caught between two lives and the people she loves. She struggles to reach a decision but ultimately her Chinese soul helps her to choose her original family. Years later she marries a military officer and moves to Shanghai with him.
Shanghai is the start of a lonely life for MoLi as her husband is away a lot. During this time she bares three children, a boy and two girls, in the same hospital where she meets the British doctor Louis Smith-Sutton. Together they embark on an passionate love affair. Tragedy strikes MoLi once again with the outbreak of the Sino-Japanese War which robs her of her son who is shot during a demonstration. Her husband is absent and so she turns to Louis Smith-Sutton to help her overcome the grief.
Ultimately the war forces MoLi to flee Shanghai and she once again finds herself facing great danger. She returns to Peony Land with her family, only to find that Japanese troops were there before them. They are greeted by an image of desolation and find that the estate has fallen victim to pillage, arson, rape and murder. Destroyed by grief, MoLi’s father passes away and her mother follows him only a short time after. MoLi feels like her family is falling apart. All the while her husband has been away fighting for the Chiang Kai-shek Army. The Communists are coming and he urges his family to leave China and make their way to Taiwan. MoLi however, adamantly refuses to part with her land and the family is thus labelled reactionary and persecuted accordingly.

MoLi’s daughter, Pe Lin, works as an archaeologist in XiAn where she meets and marries the German archaeologist Leonhard König. She is a strong minded young woman who has ideals and hopes for her country. She publishes articles criticising many of China’s main newspapers which lead to her execution by the Red Guards during the Cultural Revolution.
PeLin’s tragic death once again brings her family in great danger. MoLi risks her life helping PeLin’s daughter and her sister escape China. The two of them arrive safely in Hong Kong but MoLi is jailed.

MoLi’s granddaughter LyNa is only three months old when her mother is killed. From Hong Kong she travels to Taiwan, where she grows up happily under the loving care of her aunt whom she thinks to be her real mother. For a long time she remains ignorant to the truth about her own family. She goes to study music in Vienna, where she meets and marries Edward Lamatina, an American film producer. They move to California where LyNa begins a successful movie career.
Trough a serious of coincidences LyNa receives a photo album containing pictures of her family by the son of the old Butler from Peony Land, who travels to Malibu just to deliver this valuable book of memories.
LyNa is moved by the strength of her grandmother MoLi. The pictures awaken something inside her and she decides to rebuild Peony Land on the site of her home in Malibu. She commissions architects, searches for ancient Chinese items, visits auctions and even manages to find the baldachin bed her grandmother was born in. However, the most important thing she finds on her quest is her father, whom she has long thought to be dead.
The ill fate that curses the family returns one final time. Whilst LyNa is happily celebrating the reuniting of her family, the newly built Peony Land burns down to the ground.
LyNa, desperate to save the family photo album, rushes into the burning house. She manages to rescue the album but ends up badly effected by the poisonous fumes. She is taken to hospital and ends up in Intensive Care where she lies in a coma. While the family is waiting for her to recover, LyNa’s aunt and her daughter, Bamboo Melanie, sit together in the baldachin bed and recount the extraordinary stories of the families past...


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