Hong Kong Asian Film Festival
Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival
Osaka Asian Film Festival
Singapore Chinese Film Festival
Udine Far East Film Festival
Kin Long Chan
Kin Long Chan, Ryan Ling
Bipin Karma, Ka Tung Lam
Hanz Au, III Iris Liu
EDKO FILMS LIMLITED
Triad intrigue involving smuggled turtles, a stolen million and a cup of instant noodles is afoot in Hong Kong. Kwan has forged a deal as the middleman to deliver good-luck turtles to his boss, but is also working behind his boss’s back with the turtle smuggler, to skim more. More complications arise when a small-time thief, Mani, steals a bag of drugs from Kwan’s triad associates and goes on the run. He offers to pay Kwan if he can hide in his apartment. Mani is also very protective of his innocent kid brother. Laying low, he is unable to meet the boy, so Kwan is sent in his place. Kwan and Mani gradually forge a bond over the subsequent days. Soon Kwan must decide where his loyalties and fortune lie. Can his obsession with cigarettes lead him in the right direction?
First-time director Chan Kin-Long has taken a traditional triad tale of betrayal and friendship and richly embellished it with a fresh slant, while maintaining a colourful balance of human drama, film noir, humour and suspenseful action. Chan also really brings out the neon-soaked underbelly of Hong Kong, visually, while incorporating a very cosmopolitan view of the city, including a rare casting of a local actor of East Indian origin in a co-starring role. Johnnie To regular Gordon Lam (ELECTION) really shines in the lead role as someone trying to find purpose after serving the British when the former colony was under their administration. Filmed entirely during the pandemic, HAND ROLLED CIGARETTE was greeted with an avalanche of award nominations, and is ready to light up Fantasia! – King-Wei Chu
Winning praise from Martin Scorsese, HAN GONG-JU verges on perfection. It’s impossible to remain unmoved by this drama, as relevant as it is powerful.
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A masterful film with a phenomenal actress, using the codes of the boxing drama to deliver a moving, powerful and hopeful work.