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John is an English photojournalist who has spent over a decade in Hong Kong; his friend Jim often crashes in his cramped apartment. John's unrequited love is Vivian whom he aches for but has not the nerve to possess. Concurrent with England's transfer of Hong Kong back to the Chinese, John discovers that he has a rare form of leukemia and has only months to live. So John, Jim, and the disfigured proto-hippy Jean grab a digital video camera and prowl the streets, seeking to document the "real" Hong Kong one last time. Written by
I don't know why, but people on imdb and elsewhere have been very critical of this film. Personally, as someone living in Hong Kong, I think it is both a well made and important film. At the end, the analogy of Gong Li's character starting again, as Hong Kong is starting again, worked well. I think perhaps the only drawback is Maggie Cheung's character, as it seems a little pointless. However, I like nearly everything Jeremy Irons is in - he is really one of the world's best actors. His characters are always people that I can somehow empathise with - they're always very believable and he really carries the film's themes. The idea of setting the film in the six months leading up to Hong Kong's July 1, 1997 handover works well. As Irons' character dies, so does British sovereignty - the Union Jack goes down, the last Governor cries, Gong Li shakes off her long-time sugar daddy. It's a captivating and well-told story of which the Director should be proud, although I read an interview with him a while ago, and he didn't want to talk about the film, since it's upset some people in Hong Kong, I think. This film is certainly better than most rubbish that's made in Hong Kong. I urge you to find a copy and see it.
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