From the Queen to the Chief Executive
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Time Out saysRecently Hong Kong's most prolific director, Yau has quite often found an interesting social dimension in schlock genre material. Here he does the exact opposite, spiking a serious-minded social protest movie with steroid-like injections of genre-movie style. From the opening newsreel (Tung Chee-Hwa taking his oath of office as the new Chief Executive in 1997), overlaid with noisy alt-rock from the resettlement estates, the effect is quite bracing. Around ten years before the handover, five Chinese teenagers were arrested for the rape and murder of two English schoolchildren and - being juveniles - detained 'at Her Majesty's pleasure'. Chief Executive Tung inherited the problem when he took over, and still hasn't resolved it: now older and wiser, the perpetrators are still in jail with no hope of parole. The film reconstructs the campaign to get defined sentences for the teenagers. It centres on the efforts of a tireless Urban Councillor (Tang) and the young woman (mainland singer Ai Jing in her acting debut) who has fallen for one of the boys in jail. Terrific.