A STRONG Woman • Chinese-Malaysian Street Food Vendor • George Town • MALAYSIA

Ah Yeoh cooks street food in Malaysia. Now she needs back surgery, but who can she ask for help?


Ah Yeoh’s body is wearing out after 42 years of cooking char koay teow at her coffee shop, the Hok Poe Lye Cafe. Since 1940, her family has been feeding their neighborhood in George Town, Malaysia. In fact, their family cafe is registered in GTWHI’s “Directory of Traditional Trades and Occupations”. When she’s not working, Ah Yeoh goes to pray at the Goddess of Mercy Temple (Kuan Yin Teng) and donates to the neighborhood’s poor. But now, Ah Yeoh needs back surgery, and although she gives to others, she won’t ask others to help her. Is she a strong woman?

Her undefeatable character represents the spirit of all the men and women who built George Town into a trading port powerhouse, a historic colonial town on the Straits of Malacca. “A Strong Woman” makes visible Ah Yeoh’s attitude, skills and knowledge, which gives George Town still today it’s unique, traditional character.

Director’s Note: A Strong Woman was filmed between April and July in 2015 and supported in part by a project grant from Think City. The film was a finalist of the 2016 Kaki Lima Short Film Competition (Malaysia) and official selected for screening at the 2016 Blackbird Film Festival (USA) and the 2016 New York Film Week (USA).


Music: Finn Clarke
Artwork: Ammar Khalifa
Sound Editor: Dan Jahn
Director: Ryan Anderson

This film was made possible by Penny Chow, Zsuzsa Csuvar, Zachary Kyra-Derksen, Chin Yoon Khen, Jonathan Khoo, Seraina Klopfstein, MaryBeth Lafferty, Marshall Newman, Trey Palmer, Marcus Petersson, Barbara Moore, Lien De Pau, Simone, Messina, Susan & Soli Young, Think City, with special thanks to Canon Malaysia.


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