Where Are You Going
- Rotterdam International Film Festival
- South Taiwan Film Festival | Best Experimental Film
- China Independent Film Festival | Jury Award
- Melbourne International Film Festival
- Hong Kong Asian Film Festival
- Filmpodium Zürich
A meditation on the socially-stratified city of Hong Kong, this crafty essay film reflects on the alienation and social dislocation of its residents produced by the undercurrents of change to its political economy.
Contemporary Hong Kong, both futuristic and anachronistic, is the single visual element of this meticulously composed documentary. The city's varied faces, combined with 13 conversations between a taxi driver and passengers of different social backgrounds, construct a mosaic of its multi-faceted society.
A young female banker is confronted by her driver over the allegedly false promises she makes to her customers. A mainland Chinese couple converses about the disillusionment, homesickness, and discrimination they endure each day. It quickly becomes evident that Hong Kong's allure, its icons of western consumerism, and its high-rise condominiums are largely distractions from the city's mounting political and economic distress. Promises seem clouded by the disappointments of a misunderstood economic reality, one that can be rewarding but perhaps more so punishing.
Former Hongkonger, Zhengfan Yang (now based in the US) spent five years attempting to understand this invigorating city through the hopes and realities of its inhabitants. With personal accounts of both new residents and natives, Yang examines the polarizing sides of Hong Kong's workforce. Most seem allured by the possibilities the 'Pearl of the Orient' may offer, yet they struggle to capture a sense of identity, belonging, or success, almost regardless of what they are able to accomplish.
The dramatic social, political, and economic changes of recent years are subtly present behind the voices of the passengers. Their experiences express the seemingly key, yet uncertain, role Hong Kong is to play in China's future, as they appear caught in the double movement of runaway capitalism and reactionary social controls. Karl Polanyi's remark that "Free markets were planned; planning was not" rings true.
130 minutes, in Mandarin, Tagalog, Cantonese with English subtitles.