COMRADES: ALMOST A LOVE STORY
118 minutes. China-Hong Kong. 1996. Language: Cantonese, Mandarin, English. Subtitled. Colour.
The East Asia Film Festival Ireland (EAFFI) is delighted to be partnering with Dublin Lunar New Year to present Comrades: Almost a Love Story screening at the IFI on Wednesday January 25 at 18.00.
Chinese director Peter Chan’s big hearted and humorous classic romantic tale, follows two Chinese mainlanders over a decade beginning in 1986 in Hong Kong, and concluding in New York.
Young man Xiao-Jun (Leon Lai) moves to Hong Kong, determined to earn money before bringing over his mainland fiancee, Fang Xiao-ting (Kristy Yeung). He meets one day the ambitious hard working Qiao (Maggie Cheung) who works in a McDonalds. They hit it off and a fluctuating relationship as friends and lovers begins, their paths separating and intertwining over the years – two lives caught in missed opportunities and meetings.
The film reflects on the experiences of youth, displacement, Chinese diaspora and cultural identity, and trying to find a place in a vibrant Hong Kong, long a gateway for Chinese migrants who follow a dream. The film’s title refers to ‘Tian Mi Mi’, a song by beloved Chinese pop singer Teresa Teng, and an icon for mainland Chinese like Xiao-Jun and Qiao, and the song is used as a signifier in their relationship. Maggie Cheung and Leon Lai together sparkle with chemistry and charisma. The film is richly detailed, with wonderful moments of high emotions. Renowned cinematographer Christopher Doyle even takes a turn in the cameo of an English teacher.
(Marie-Pierre Richard, programmer/curator of EAFFI & EAFFI Discoveries)