7.1/10
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2 user 8 critic

Night and Fog (2009)

Tin shui wai dik ye yu mo (original title)
Starts at the end of the story, with the brutal murder by a man of his wife and daughters. Hui gradually unmasks the idyll of the peaceful family and that of Hong Kong as the promised land for gold seekers.

Director:

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(screenplay) (as King Wai Cheung), (screenplay)
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1 win & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Lee Sam
...
Wong Hiu-ling
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ariel Hiu-Man Chan ...
Lee Mei-Heung
Audrey Hiu-Yau Chan ...
Lee Mei-Yi
Amy Chum ...
Mrs. Au
Wai-Guen Law ...
Lily (as Wai Keung Law)
Yan-Yee Connie Leung ...
Woman In Shelter
Kar-Ping Ng
Chau-Wah Yim
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Storyline

Ann Hui's darkly realistic Night and Fog starts at the end of the story: a man murders his wife and, based on statements by unreliable witnesses, the film goes on to investigate how things could have got this far and what kind of man was able to kill his family; questions that almost inevitably remain unanswered. Night and Fog, named after Nuit et brouillard (1955), Alain Resnais' documentary about concentration camps, looks at the difficult problem of domestic violence. An elderly man from Hong Kong takes a wife from outside the city and goes on to neglect and abuse the woman. Ann Hui's cool registering camera is juxtaposed with flashbacks within flashbacks and dream sequences, just as in her earlier film, Song of the Exile (1990). Written by International Film Festival Rotterdam

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Drama

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Release Date:

14 May 2009 (Hong Kong)  »

Also Known As:

Night and Fog  »

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1.85 : 1
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Follows The Way We Are (2008) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Great performances, very sad tale. Based on a true story.
9 June 2010 | by (http://sitenoise-atthemovies.blogspot.com/) – See all my reviews

Stories of domestic abuse are often so unreal or surreal, if/when they are made into movies they often come off as unbelievable or too melodramatic, leaving the facts of the case alone to provide the emotional impact. The aesthetics of the film itself seem less of a priority. The acting and direction of Night and Fog are so pitch perfect, that even though the story starts at the end so we know the result and it's unraveled through flashbacks and police interrogations, it plays out like a mystery. It's not the what of what happened but the how of what happened that compels. And don't write off Jingchu Zhang as just another pretty face. She nails the part of an ambitious peasant girl from the heartland, in this case Sichuan, who appears to have made it to the top by marrying a Hong Kong man. Her sisters made it only halfway, marrying men from the industrial Shenzhen. This is the ladder of success many young women from the disadvantaged rural areas attempt to climb. No matter that many of the men they pursue, especially the ones from Hong Kong, might already have a wife.

Director Ann Hui places the micro of domestic abuse into a wider macro social context with such honesty it's scary. The film reveals a plight of a segment of the Chinese population it hurts to know about. Hui pushes hard on the social buttons of an issue that many would like to ignore, but that's what gives the film its power. This is one of the more painfully sad films I've seen in a long time. I put it on when it was already way past my bed time, thinking I'd just get a feel for it and fall asleep. Well, a feel for it I got, and ended up staring at it, bug-eyed, the entire two hour runtime.


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