Made in Hong Kong



September 1997, Hong Kong. Finally saw an exciting local production. For independent films, spirit is always the most important measure, more so than conditions of production and distribution. The polarization of mainstream and alternative has long become obsolete and the thoughts and care that go into the film are what really count. The production of Made In Hong Kong is professional in both technique and style, and the outstanding performance of the actors puts many professional actors to shame. The film is informed by forces and emotions that flows naturally and the recreation of characters and situations is far more realistic than any other Hong Kong films. - Loretta Chang

Fruit Chan made this film with limited resources and money, but he manages to make it with both commercially viability and individual style. Its photography and structure are all accomplished. The theme of young criminals, down-to-earth grass-root culture, expert use of housing estate locations, the mood of the situations, even the young criminals' behavior and language ..... Everything rings true. The director is able to accurately capture the mindset of the young characters, such as their ideals, their desires and hopelessness, and their sense of being abandoned. Eventually, the ending of the criminal is not death by gang violence or arrest by police but by the ending of life, giving the anti-heroism a touch of melancholy. - Edith Chiu

A youth-gang film without any burdens, but while it looks relaxed on the outside, it's heavy on the inside. A youth seemingly full of possiblities is running into deadends everywhere. With limited choices, life becomes an ordeal, but one can still live it to its fullest. Hence a story that appears tragic is not without life force, finding a way out in what seems like a closed domain. Though the effort ends in failure but one can't say it's a negative attitude. Without some of the mainstream cliches, the youth-gang story becomes ever more interesting. - Grace Ng

Scenes, editing and production are unavoidably crude but Fruit Chan went ahead and called it Made in Hong Kong. An ambitious effort - it is rare that caged birds can manage to free themselves and when it does, it flies far and high. A complete script is what is encouraging about the film, its story is full of spirited details, telling with humor a story about a kid on the edge that is at once sad, and about 1997. There are a lot of people who laughs at the "Made in Hong Kong" label. Go ahead, laugh; Fruit Chan wants people to know who has the last laugh. - Pierre Lam

Don't look at the whole thing as a miracle. Making a film with a five-men crew is also nothing to get too worked up about. The birth of this film only proves that determination eventually prevails. The direction of Fruit Chan is indeed grounded, giving a literary sensibility a story about punks. He did it with discarding the limits of identity, making this a personal story and all that is touching comes from the heart. Perhpas all the films that talk about "the heart" is confusing, giving filmmakers an excuse when things go wrong. But being able to get close to the heartbeat of youths, capturing the glory of youth right before the moment of self-destruction, indeed shows that the filmmaker does care for them. - Ye Nianchen

From Hong Kong Film Critics Society