The Crossing (Guo chun tian)
Cert: 12A Year: 2018 Length: 99 mins Language: Chinese/Cantonese
The relationship between Hong Kong and China is big news as we go to press; this film is based on the weird fact that there is a black market of iPhones going from Hong Kong to China, where they were probably made in the first place.
"Huang Yao is shy 16-year-old Peipei, who's frantically saving up for a holiday in Japan with her rich best friend Jo. Peipei commutes daily between her home in the Chinese city Shenzhen and school in Hong Kong. To make a little extra money she smuggles for a gang. It begins harmlessly enough, slipping a couple of iPhones wrapped in cling film into her school bag" - Cath Clarke, Guardian.
Newcomer Bai Xue is more interested in Peipei's character than the smuggling though, concentrating her cameras on the gradual change in Peipei and her relationships as she gets more involved. She lives with her mother in Shenzen, but her father lives in Hong Kong giving her access to school there. Both parents have new partners, so when she meets Sister Hua, who runs the gang of smugglers, she seems "a more appealing mother-figure...But her youthful naivety leaves her well out of her depth in both her relationships and the criminal underworld" - Tony Rayns, Sight & Sound.
That is not to say that Bai Xue's film is not dramatic; she keeps up the tension at the crossings, using hand-held cameras and changes of music to show Peipei's nervousness, but, as Cath Clarke goes on to say, "She has a light touch and a precise way of finding the emotion in scenes. It took her a decade after graduating film school to get this film made – it's worth the wait".
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Keswick Film Club won the Best New Film Society at the British Federation Of Film Societies awards in 2000.
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