Comrades, Almost a Love Story
- 1h 58min
Two Chinese-mainlanders living in Hong Kong form a close friendship. Over the years this grows into love, but there are obstacles.Two Chinese-mainlanders living in Hong Kong form a close friendship. Over the years this grows into love, but there are obstacles.Two Chinese-mainlanders living in Hong Kong form a close friendship. Over the years this grows into love, but there are obstacles.
So I enthusiastically recommend this film, much as everyone else -- wow, is there anyone who didn't like this one??
Now, I have to take some issue with the people who apparently didn't like the portrayal of African-Americans in this film. I saw this film with an African-American friend of mine, who is by no means a "political activist" sort, and "even" he was slightly offended. The two scenes involving blacks are, to be sure, not positive. And it's true Asians, particularly immigrants, have a fear of blacks. However, whatever one's politics on race matters in the U.S., I do feel that as a movie concerned with immigrant protagonists, such scenes were justified and even necessary. The INS agents weren't depicted much better, and they were all white. Incidentally, the second and last scene "including" blacks seemed a bit of cinema verite, quite real and not staged -- by which I mean that I think the two young males fighting in the background, and the old black lady trying to break them up, was all happening for real, accidentally, coincidentally, serendipitously. Note that this scene was one of those NY crowd scenes with Leon Lai's character walking about town in a mildly depressed and greatly reflective state, and I think the camera just picked up something fortuitous and most interesting, happening for real. I say this because I doubt that the crowds were staged, and director Peter Chan must be really a devious fellow to deliberately stage such a thing which actually distracts us for the moment from the male protagonist's melancholia.
Anyway. My pal and I talked at length over this issue of black representation in this film, and agreeing that the movie had no "social responsibility" (I mean, some would say we're talking romanticizing adultery here!) and no "artisitic obligation" to give a veritable cross-section of the inner-city black community, all I had to do to get him to stop complaining and being so politically correct was to ask him if he can recall the last time a Chinese kid mugged somebody. Whereas Chinese and Asians are frequently attacked; anyone remember the African-American teens who lured and murdered a father of two for $60 worth of Chinese food here? There have been more incidents since this one last year -- none fatal yet, though....
Anyway, this is a great film, and it has no flaws I can perceive. If you want a vastly more sympathetic and "liberal" take on inner-city crime and Chinese immigrants, check out Clara Law's good "Farewell China." Just don't let the black representation red herring trip you up from enjoying this really interesting Chinese take on romantic, "unrequited" love. If you live in NYC, you'll get a great kick out of trying to identify all the locations! Some are obvious, but what's stumped me in cycling around here visiting them all is where "Broadway," where the murder takes place, is located -- the Brooklyn one, or the Queens one? (Definitely not the world-famous Manhattan one.) I've visted both Broadways, and can't figure it out....
- Sep 3, 2001