From the Queen to the Chief Executive- -
In 1985, Cheung Yau-ming (David Lee Sheung-man) was one of five miscreants involved in the brutal murder of a white couple. As he was still a juvenile, the court ordered that he be "detained at Her Majesty's pleasure," a clause in British law allowing the government to imprison young offenders for an indefinite period. The film picks up in 1997, with Yau-ming (now 28) being paid a visit by a girl named Cheung Yue-ling (Ai Jing). With only six months to go before the Handover, Yau-ming and 22 other prisoners hope to have their sentences determined soon, fearing what might happen should the decision about what to do with them become the province of incoming Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa.
Based on the ongoing case of a civil rights campaigner’s quest to gain justice for juvenile offenders, From the Queen to the Chief Executive tackles the sensitive issue of Hong Kong’s legal system pre- and post-handover to China.
Helmer Herman Yau’s blend of tabloid filmmaking and serious social issues – more restrained than usual – pigeonhole this as an Asiaphile curio. Best known for shockers The Untold Story and Taxi Hunter, Yau is a prolific maverick whose movies are better for their sum than their parts, often dramatising true cases. Here, Cheung Yau-ming (David Lee, okay), has spent 12 years “detained at Her Majesty’s pleasure” (HMP) for participating in a gang rape and killing when still a teen. As the handover looms in 1997, a Mainland woman, Zhang Yuling (popular singer Ai Jing, over-cute), herself sexually abused when younger, alerts councillor Leung (Stephen Tang, good) to get Cheung a fixed sentence before HMP is simply transformed into “at the Chief Executive’s pleasure”. However, public opinion and political maneuvring are against him. Pic was rumored to open the upcoming H.K. fest but was not finally selected, supposedly for political reasons.
Thanks to Far East Film Festival