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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
When John and Jim stop during the motorcycle ride up the hill, the shadow of a cameraman is visible. See more »
Just a week ago all I wanted was to tell Vivian how much I loved her. But now I see that's the one thing I mustn't do. I can't offload my illness onto her, or Jim, or Mary and the kids. I don't want the look in their eyes to remind me I'm dying. I wonder if I can hold out longer than the British. Not that I could be described as an empire.
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For starters, it would be fair to say that I have seen this movie at least ten times. I was never bored... In fact, the magical atmosphere of the movie makes it beautiful to watch, and makes you enjoy every minute of it, even with the story aside. The cast is excellent, and the way that the actors 'ignore' the camera really makes you believe the story. The story has many layers, all of them viewed from an aspect of a dying man, packed with emotion, all masks down. The handover of Hong Kong and a love story, with all the cultural differences and barriers, is captured from a very close range. It's done almost like a documentary and strongly effects any spectator. The characters are complete, the story also, and everything else in the movie (from the photography and the music to the actual footage of HK and its people) only makes it more powerful. A beautiful movie.
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