Hui's sprawling, difficult film expresses very complex feelings about Hong Kong as a place and its people. Its core is a kind of 'rough guide' to recent social and political activism. Hui frames the film with sequences from a street play about the late Ng Chung-Yin, an agit-prop pioneer in the 1970s, and focuses on the few individuals who in the 1980s lobbied the government on China-related issues and campaigned for social reforms - activities cut short by events in Tiananmen Square in June 1989. Some of the characters are close to their real life prototypes (the Maoist-Catholic priest Ah Kam, superbly played by Wong) while others are more or less fictional (the boy who joins Ah Kam to get near a girl he fancies), but all of them are 'heroic' losers. In their lonely, principled struggles, cold shouldered by society, Hui pinpoints something which could be a key to Hong Kong identity.