It was an accidental audition, one that 20-year-old Nancy Kwan stumbled upon while peering in on Hong Kong actors vying for the much-coveted Hollywood movie role of Suzie Wong. Wearing a wine-colored cheongsam with her hair coiffed into a sleek bun, Kwan smiled broadly at the camera, answering questions about the pronunciation of her name and taking graceful, profile-revealing turns in patent leather heels. Kwan, who had no prior acting experience, was on the verge of making movie history.
This turn of fate opens To Whom It May Concern: Ka Shen’s Journey, a new documentary from director Brian Jamieson. As a long-time fan of Kwan and executive at Warner Bros.’ home entertainment division, Jamieson began researching Kwan’s life when the studio was considering a re-release of four of her films. The documentary, which is currently touring the film festival circuit in the United States and internationally, details Kwan’s life and the role that defined her career.