Rising talent Jun Li directs a story of dispossession and failure of social infrastructure, as unhoused residents in Hong Kong bond together in search of support, dignity and solace from a world that has forgotten them.
Screened as part of NZIFF 2021
Fai (Francis Ng), freshly released from prison, returns to Sham Shui Po, a low-income, working-class neighbourhood in Hong Kong, where he sleeps on a street corner among other unhoused people. The close-knit community includes Master, a Vietnamese refugee; Chan Mui, a dishwasher trying to get into public housing; and Dai Sing, who struggles with addiction.
One night, the authorities clear them off the street and confiscate their personal items without warning. Frustrated by their mistreatment, they decide to sue the government for damages and justice with the help of a social worker. The group moves under an overpass, finding scraps where they can to build new wooden huts. As the community grows for other unhoused and marginalised people in the city with the most unaffordable housing in the world, how long will they be allowed to live as they are?
Inspired by real life events, the ensemble cast, led by screen veteran Ng, bring nuance to characters whose lives are more complex than their circumstances. Director Jun Li delivers a mature, compassionate and unsentimental second feature, shining a light on some of the most vulnerable in Hong Kong society – people rarely given a voice. — Vicci Ho
“A minor masterpiece among the recent wave of local films about poverty, ageing, gentrification, and social injustice. writer and director Jun Li... has delivered on his potential as one of the city’s brightest young filmmakers.” — Edmund Lee, South China Morning Post