Hong Kong movies are not all about Kung Fu, fighting and bloodshed. There are movies made in Hong Kong which seek to enlighten audiences on the real Hong Kong daily life and social issues. In case you too are a movie buff and enjoy true representation of Hong Kong life and society in the 7th art, here are 7 of our recommendations:
1. Still Human (淪落人) (running time: approx. 2 hours, Cantonese with Eng subtitles)
Still from the film (Courtesy of Cinema Escapist website at www.cinemaescapist.com)
A young pretty Philippino finds herself working as a domestic helper for a grumpy Hong Kong man (played by Anthony Wong Chau-sang) in a wheelchair. The wheelchair-bound man living in a tiny public housing flat finds warmth and hope in life through the talents and optimism of his helper.
2. Little Big Master (五個小孩的校長/可爱的你)(running time: approx. 2 hours, Cantonese with Chinese simp, Chinese trad, English subtitles)
(Courtesy of Google image of movie poster)
Passion in education for all and not just for the elites or have-mosts was what sparked a school principal from a high ranking school to work in a school with just 5 students and on the verge of closing. Adapted from a true story, this movie makes one miss school and teachers all the more.
3. Weeds on Fire (點五步) (running time: approx 1 hr 35 mins, Cantonese with Chinese simp, Chinese trad, English subtitles)
Image courtesy of www.ol.mingpao.com
Adapted from a true story of a Hong Kong baseball team in 1980s with little budget and fewer fans who challenged themselves to continue in the game and excel in a competition against Japanese players. The movie makes one nostalgic of the resilience of the Hong Kong people in the early heady days and wondering if we will still see the adaptability and resilience during and after Covid.
4. The Menu (導火新聞線) (Running time: 1.5 hours. Cantonese only. Subbed with Traditional Chinese and English)
Courtesy of U Lifestyle
An extension of the same name TV drama streamed on platform HKTV.
The story centres on how the goal of media is no longer as a watchdog of society but instead as a forum for sensationalism and hit rates where the ultimate goal is to generate greater ad revenue. This movie helps the public to learn more about the role of the media. More importantly, it is a nice piece for journalists in the newsroom to reflect on the nature of media and professionalism.
5. Men On the Dragon (逆流大叔) (Running time: 1.5 hours. Cantonese only. Subbed with Traditional Chinese and English)
Pic Courtesy: hk01
Released in 2019, a down-to-earth movie of men’s middle age crisis against the backdrop of recent social issues in Hong Kong. Middle-aged men in ordinary jobs participate in a strenuous dragonboat competition and have to exercise every day. Movie branches out to behind-the-scenes look at each rower’s daily life struggles. Paddling a dragonboat is not easy, it requires each person’s participation and teamwork. When paddling the dragonboat against waves, it resembles overcoming life’s obstacles.
6. Thrown Down (柔道龍虎榜) (Running time: 95 minutes. Cantonese only)
Pic Courtesy: HKDMS
The film was released in 2004 when SARS was also an epidemic and Hong Kong’s prospects were uncertain. It took place at the former Bacteriological Institute where used to research bubonic plaque over a century ago. This movie can cheer Hong Kong people up that we overcame epidemics in the past, we will continue to do so by overcoming the coronavirus.
7. Madworld (一念無明) (Running time: approx. 1 hr 40 mins Cantonese only)
Pic Courtesy: hk01
Having any sort of mental illness is a stigma in Chinese communities and yet, there is a growing population of silent sufferers globally. A son with bipolar disorder learns to live with his estranged father when his mother dies. This film was awarded the Best Supporting Actress and Best new director award in the Golden Horse awards.
We believe the meaning of film is a combination of authenticity, teamwork, creator’s message and a reflection of society at that moment. We loved every moment of these movies. We laughed, we cried and we WERE there with the characters, completely immersed!! Hope you will watch and like some of the movies in our list as much as we did.
Of course there are a lot more amazing Hong Kong film pieces apart from the above. Do send us your feedback on the article, any additions to the list you may like to: firstname.lastname@example.org or whatzzap: 61098138.