What Is a Good Teacher

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What Is a Good Teacher (2000)

89 min - Drama - 25 May 2000
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Mr. Kong is not a typical Hong Kong teacher. He isn't happy just teaching his students in his class, but he would rather go to rave parties and play along with them, as well as follow his female students and sit with them in their revision classes. However, by the time Mr. Kong wins the hearts of his students, the school revealed that he is not qualified to be a teacher.

Director:  Francis Ng
Writers:  Francis Ng

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Storyline

Mr. Kong is not a typical Hong Kong teacher. He isn't happy just teaching his students in his class, but he would rather go to rave parties and play along with them, as well as follow his female students and sit with them in their revision classes. However, by the time Mr. Kong wins the hearts of his students, the school revealed that he is not qualified to be a teacher.


Collections: Francis Ng

Genres: Drama

Details

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Country:   Hong Kong
Language:  Cantonese
Release Date:  25 May 2000

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Technical Specs

Runtime:  1 h 29 min

Replacement teacher Kong Yau-mong takes on the mad, mad world of Hong Kong’s education system.

His comrades-in-arms include a religious teacher with a Jesus Christ complex, a Chinese language teacher who sells insurance over his mobile phone during class and a beer-swilling chemistry teacher whose students await the second big bang. Naturally, Kong is more at ease with the kids and their relative sanity, donning hip-hop gear in school, hanging out with them after class, and taking lessons on what exactly makes a good teacher. Francis Ng’s second film as director is a radical departure from 9413 and the violent cop at its heart. Although best known outside Hong Kong for tightly-wound policemen and gangsters likely to explode at any moment, Ng is also known on home turf for his comedic range, including his theatrical stand-up shows which partner him with Cheung Tat-ming and Dayo Wong. Here Cheung and Wong take cameos as the insurance salesman who moonlights as a teacher and a private cram school tutor for whom examination results are everything. A small film that went beneath the radar of the local audience, What Is a Good Teacher has many precious moments and – that rare thing – a cast of kids who don’t grate. Ng’s holy fool is closer in spirit to Stephen Chiau’s Fight Back to School imposter than Hollywood’s stiff inspirational-teacher-as-outsider persona, with Kong radically transgressing the boundary between teacher and pupil, know-all grown-up and know-nothing teenager. While Ng clearly has political points to make about the failings of the local education system, Teacher never feels too worthy.

Stephen Cremin

Thanks to Far East Film Festival