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Hong Kong, 1997 (MIFF 1998, Sushi and a Switchblade)

Director: Fruit Chan

The winner at over a dozen festival awards worldwide, including numerous Best Film and Best Director citations, Made in Hong Kong is the first post-handover independent film from the former colony. Incorporating a striking, black yet humanistic view of youth, director Fruit Chan's astounding debut heralds a more personal approach to gripping social commentary, especially with regard to the underworld, in the region.

Abandoned by his father - who left his son to pursue a mainland Chinese woman - teenaged Autumn Moon has become a small-time thug who collects extortion debts for Wing, his triad 'big brother', in order to survive. An unexplained teenage suicide, marauding loansharks, the Triad code, random violence and unscrupulous drug traffickers are just a few of the obstacles cluttering Moon's trying path through life. While threatening a housewife for an unpaid loanshark debt, Moon meets and falls for her daughter, Ping, who is suffering from a terminal disease. To overcome Ping's scepticism about his love, Moon accepts a well-paid murder contract from Wing so that he can clear her family debts and hospital fees. But Moon cannot finish the killing and flees in fear and self-disgust. Devastated when he learns that Ping has died, Moon decides to take revenge on the adult world.

"Like many people of my generation the handover signifies a kind of deadline, an end to an historical period: hence the fatal disease that Ping suffers from in the film, the sense of hopelessness that affects Autumn Moon, and his inevitable self-destruction. It is a gloomy view, but it is nevertheless something deeply and genuinely felt by me and my peers. And it is exactly this sense of helplessness that prompted me to make this film." - Fruit Chan

Fruit Chan (Chan Kuo) was born in Canton, 1959. An assistant director and production coordinator on many films, Fruit Chan commenced work on the script of Made in Hong Kong in 1994. With US$80,000 raised from friends and relatives and the volunteer help of other veteran filmmakers, Chan completed his debut feature.

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