Speaking Thursday about his own work, Wong told reporters that the biggest challenge while making "The Grandmaster" was the fact that he doesn't practice martial arts himself.
Wong said he was nevertheless drawn to the figure of Yip Man, Bruce Lee's mentor, because of his fortitude in the face of a lifetime of hardship, beginning with his childhood in Imperial China through the revolutionary years and ending in Hong Kong under British colonial rule.
"His life basically is like the modern history of the early days of our republic," said Wong. "During all these periods you can see how a martial artist stands up for his principles and his honor in front of all this hardship"
The international cut of "The Grandmaster" premiering in Berlin has been shortened from the version released in China last year. The film stars Tony Leung ("In the Mood for Love") and Zhang Ziyi, best known internationally for "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon."
Festival website: http://www.berlinale.de