The Longest Summer- -
It is July 1st of 1997, and Hong Kong is bright in celebration. The United Kingdom handover of Hong Kong to the People's Republic of China leaves Ga Yin, and his fellow soldiers without work. Which leads them to find employment and money any way they can get it. Without much success, Ga Yin decides to join his brother Ga Suen in the triad gang world.
Fruit Chan’s much-awaited new film, following Made in Hong Kong, is an epic portrait of the city prior to and after its handover to China on 1 July 1997.
However, as one might expect from Chan, this is no conventional “epic,” more an evocation of a crucial period in Hong Kong’s psyche through the stories of a group of people who turn to organised crime at a time when they need something to believe in. The movie’s first hour is a jumble of images and events that may prove confusing to western audiences; but the film develops a strong emotional undertow in its second half as the characters move towards the long night of the handover and the future that awaits them in the months after. Main conflict is between Ga-yin (newcomer Tony Ho), who has been disbanded from the Hong Kong Military Service Corps with no skills to cope in the city’s money-driven world, and his younger brother Ga-suen (Sam Lee, from Made in Hong Kong), a street punk who has already joined a triad gang. Desperate to prove himself, Ga-yin puts together a team of ex-colleagues and his brother to rob a bank – but a major surprise awaits them. From the midway bank robbery on, several earlier elements in the film click into place, showing that Chan’s direction is not as random as first seemed. Beneath its hard surface, the movie also has a lot of humor (including a very funny scene at the end). Ho and Lee are excellent as the two brothers, and newcomer Jo Kuk strong as a triad boss’ daughter who plays a crucial part in the story. Hong Kong mega-star Andy Lau, who helped Chan with financing his previous film, also funded The Longest Summer. Chan is now working on the third part of his trilogy.
Thanks to Far East Film Festival