Boat People

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Hui's impressive film sets out to explain why so many Vietnamese (mostly of Chinese descent) took to the South China Sea as refugees in the late 1970s. A Japanese photo-journalist covers the 'liberation' of Danang in 1975 and returns to report on 'New Vietnam' three years later. Initially a pawn of the propaganda bureau, he gradually realises the truth about forced labour camps, poverty and corruption, not to mention the generational in-fighting within the communist party. On first release it was taken as a pessimistic prophecy of Hong Kong's likely fate after the 1997 reversion to China's sovereignty - a reading it only half invites. The major weakness is the central casting: Lam is hopelessly unconvincing as both a Japanese and a professional photographer.

Release details

Duration: 111 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Ann Hui
Screenwriter: Yau-Tai On-Ping
Cast: George Lam
Season Ma
Cora Miao
Andy Lau
Gus Wong
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