If you are not a fan of Hong Kong films, you may not know the name of Mark Houghton. However, after seeing this documentary, you will know who he is, and this is a wonderful documentary about a man who has battled so much for a dream.
Born in the United Kingdom, Mark Houghton was fascinated with martial arts after seeing Bruce Lee. A chance encounter took Mark to Malaysia, where he began to live his dream to study martial arts. His style would be Hung Gar Kung Fu. In 1988, Mark went to Hong Kong and met with one of the greatest film directors in Hong Kong’s martial arts cinema, Lau Kar-Leung, who is also an expert in Hung Gar. Impressed with his ability, Mark became Lau’s disciple and Mark would go on to star in 60 films.
During his career, Mark faced death when he was attacked in Malaysia. During his film career, the stunts took a toll on Mark’s body and in 1998, he retired to the Philippines. There, he battled depression and found a new outlet in becoming a renowned scuba diving instructor. His life would change forever in 2013 when his master, Lau Kar-Leung, died of cancer. However, a few months prior to his death, Lau asked Mark for two things: to return to the film industry and to continue spreading the martial art of Hung Gar. To this day, Mark has done both.
Shot over the course of a few years, the life and times of Mark Houghton is revealed. A renowned kung fu expert and film star, Houghton has gone through hell and back to go full circle to showcase his life story. Born in a small town in the UK, Mark’s passion for martial arts has gone a long way. While the viewer gets a perspective in the eyes of Houghton, there are interviews with those who are close to Houghton. They include the man who sent Houghton to Malaysia, Willie Wong, who to this day, is still one of Houghton’s closest friends.
There is a reenactment of the famous story in which Houghton was attacked after a drunken night in Malaysia shortly after his film career began. It is well choreographed and gives the viewer a taste of Houghton’s near fatal fight. We get to learn there is more to the man than just kung fu and martial arts action films. Learning of his stunt as a scuba driving instructor is kind of mind blowing at first, but once we see him reunite with an old friend in the Philippines, seeing Houghton dive towards a cave is just wonderful. As for his return to the industry, there are special interviews with one of Hoguhton’s stunt team members, Tom Caserto, as well as two women who are close to Mark like family: Jeanne Lau, the daughter of his master, Lau Kar-Leung; and his daughter, Charlene Houghton, who is a mixed martial arts fighter today.
When it comes to living the dream, I am the White Tiger is the story of Mark Houghton’s dream and how he has gone through great lengths to continue the dream today.
WFG RATING: A
Random Media presents a White Tiger Movie and Stunt Productions film. Director: Lei Chiu. Producers: Brian Chumney and Mark Houghton. Cinematography: Thomas Sandfield. Editing: Jason Calhoun.
Cast: Mark Houghton, Charlene Houghton, Tom Caserto, Willie Wong, Jeanne Lau, Jason Li, Xin Sarith Wuku, Mary Jean Reimer-Lau, Andrew Dasz, Steven Dasz, Marcio Catalano.