1941. Hong Kong is under Japanese occupation. The anti-Japanese Dongjiang guerilla unit is tasked with rescuing cultural figures and extracting them from the besieged city. Primary school teacher, Fang Lan and her mother are trying to live out this difficult period in a small run-down flat in Wanchai. After the schools are shut down, Lan unwittingly finds herself involved in the guerillas' mission to save novelist Mao Dun. In the process, she meets Blackie Lau, the intrepid sharpshooter captain of the guerillas' Urban and Firearms unit. Taking notice of Lan's calm, smart nature, Blackie recruits her to join the guerillas. Worried for her daughter's safety, Lan's mother volunteers to take Lan's place as a courier, only to be arrested on the job. To save her mother, Lan is forced to turn to Wing, who now works for the Japanese.
Director Ann Hui made a cameo in the movie. See more »
A Bit Too Staged, But Good Acting and Interesting Directing Choice
I appreciated this film because of my love for Zhou Xun's subtle, edgy acting style as well as the director's choice to make the 'modern-day' part of the film into a pseudo- documentary starring Tony Leung-Kar-wai. The story itself would have been more touching if the lighting and staging were less vibrant/staged. I'm not sure whether the fakeness of the dialogue and mise-en-scene are intentional, but it turned me off to a film dedicated to a nationally traumatic time for Greater China. It instantly reminded me of pro-CCP propaganda dramas... Shout out to the handsome and very talented two male actors! I had little faith in them but they proved me wrong this time around. :)
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