Less well known than his debut Yellow Earth 黃土地 (1985) and his multi-award winning Farewell My Concubine 霸王別姬 (1993), Chen Kaige’s second feature is a very different, more ambiguous work. Filmed with the assistance of the People’s Liberation Army, it depicts an army unit training for a grand military parade, of the kind that filled Tiananmen Square again in September 2015.
This observational documentary records the 1 July protest of 2003, showing the preparations, the protest and aftermath. Roughly half a million people gathered that day, the largest protests in Hong Kong since the May 1989 marches in sympathy with the Beijing democracy movement.
Moon is a high school dropout working as a debt collector for the local triads, but is proud of his independent spirit. His father has left the family for his Mainland mistress and their baby. On Moon’s rounds with Sylvester, his mentally handicapped sidekick, he meets and falls for Ping, the teenage daughter of a triad debtor.
Set in 1960s Hong Kong, Yuddy is a playboy heartbreaker who displays suave control of the women in his life. Yet, he doesn’t remember his birth mother and was raised instead by Rebecca, a well-off socialite who is planning to immigrate to the US, and who promises to divulge his mother’s whereabouts.
The second film in Ann Hui’s ‘ Vietnam Triology’, this realist drama explores the struggles of Chinese-Vietnamese in ‘post-liberation’ Vietnam. When a Japanese photojournalist travels to the port city of Danang to document the country’s feted reconstruction, he uncovers the sinister aspects of a new political order.
Xiaojun is a small town northerner who arrives in Hong Kong dreaming of making enough money to bring his girlfriend from back home. He speaks no Cantonese and struggles to get ahead in the fast paced city, until he befriends Qiao, a streetwise newcomer from Guangzhou, fluent in the local language and familiar with the opportunities the city offers. Their friendship turns to love, but Xiaojun refuses to let go of his original dream.
Ho is a triad member trying to go clean to make amends with his father and his younger brother, Kit, who is a trainee police officer. Ho’s last ‘job’ in Taiwan turns out to be a trap, landing him in prison and leading to the murder of his father. Ho’s best friend and fellow gang member, Mark, vows to avenge his best friend’s betrayal.
In a 1930s Hong Kong 'flower house', Chan, a stylish playboy, falls in love with Fleur, a sort after courtesan who shares his passion for Chinese opera. When Chan’s family vehemently opposes their feelings, the lovers attempt a suicide pact... Flash forward to 1980s Hong Kong, when Fleur mysteriously appears in a Hong Kong newspaper office, wishing to place an ad to find her lost lover, who didn’t make it to the afterlife.
"A visual record of a Sisyphean trip through the justice system." Evan Osnos, The New Yorker
Actor Jiang Wen’s directorial debut, In the Heat of the Sun tells the story of a Beijing summer during the Cultural Revolution, adapted from the 1991 novel Wild Beasts 动物凶猛 by Wang Shuo 王朔. Like many teenagers at the time, Ma Xiaojun’s parents are largely absent, so he roams Beijing with his friends, looking for adventure, waging street battles and discovering love.