Made in Hong Kong

Quebec Premiere
  • Hong Kong
  • 1997
  • 108 mins
  • Cantonese
  • English (subtitles)
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WINNER: Best Picture Award, Hong Kong Film Awards (1998)
Official Selection: Locarno International Film Festival 1997, Udine Far East Film Festival 2017

Autumn Moon (Sam Lee) is an aimless teenage dropout. Occasionally employed as a debt collector for triad boss Mr. Wing, the young punk otherwise spends his time playing basketball with friends, wandering around Hong Kong and starting brawls to defend his friend Sylvester (Wembers Li) from bullies. One day, while on assignment, Moon meets Ping (Neiki Yim), a chronically ill teenager whom he quickly falls in love with – despite her mother still owing money to the mob. Meanwhile, the death of high-schooler Susan (Amy Tam) continues to haunt the two teenagers, who come in possession of her bloodstained suicide letters, and vow to deliver them…

Reportedly shot on leftover film reels (which perhaps accounts for some of the film’s beautifully wonky colors), and released shortly after the Hong Kong sovereignty handover of 1997, MADE IN HONG KONG is a triumph of low-budget filmmaking, and one of Hong Kong cinema’s most important films. Audacious and dazzling in just about every way, it is also a statement of intention for generations of filmmakers to come: here is what teenage lives looks like, what urban alienation tastes like, what Hong Kong smells and feels like, in all its beauty and grit; in all its chaotic, high-rise geometry, winding corridors, heat, sweat and tears – politics be damned. Lovingly restored in 4K by the Udine Far East Film Festival, on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the handover, here’s the rare chance to witness a filmmaker reclaim his city. Catch Fruit Chan’s classic on the big screen, looking as crisp and vibrant as if it was shot yesterday.

- Ariel Esteban Cayer

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