2022 Digital Video Storytelling, Medium Form, Large Newsroom winner

The Healing Kitchen

About the Project

“No matter what life throws you, you’ve got to eat,” is Wan Zuocheng’s motto.

Wan and his wife, Hong Gengxiang, have been recognised as “China’s Role Models” by the country’s state broadcaster. The couple run a back-alley kitchen that is located close to a hospital that treats cancer patients in Jiangxi province. For just three yuan, patients and their relatives can use the kitchen facilities to make home-cooked meals rather than eating from the hospital canteen. Many people who use the kitchen say it’s a godsend that has contributed to their loved one’s recovery.

SCMP video journalist Thomas Yau travelled to visit this open kitchen in Nanchang, Jiangxi province, speaking with several people who used it to make meals for their sick and recovering relatives in the nearby cancer hospital. Through his lens, Yau showed humanity at its best, with the owners Wan and Hong opening their facility and their hearts to their patrons.

In a candid interview with the couple, they explained how the kitchen came to be. Despite the recognition they’ve received, none of it matters to them. The only thing that does is being able to help those in need.

The result is a film that uses honest testimonials and stunning cinematography to present an inspirational and uplifting story on people helping one another.

Judges Comments

‘The Healing Kitchen’ was able to convey a universal story through beautiful cinematography and raw, authentic interviews. The piece demonstrated how a story can move you, make you laugh, bring you to tears, and open the window to a culture, a community and life they know so little about.