Combining Hong Kong’s past and future, No. 1 Chung Ying Street is a thought-provoking drama that you should consider watching with your parents or grandparents for post-viewing discussions.
Divided into two parts, the first half of the story, set in 1967, revolves around three teenagers who get caught up in the eight-month conflict between pro-communist campaigners and the British colonial government.
The film then fast-forwards to Hong Kong in 2019. It follows the lives another trio of young people who participated in the Umbrella Movement, the occupation of parts of the city by pro-democracy protesters in 2014.
As Sze-wai (Fish Liew Ziyu), Yee-hong (Yau Hawk-sau), and Yat-long (Lo Chun-yip) are trying to protect farmland near the mainland border from property developers, they cross paths with one of the teenagers – now an old man – from the 1967 riots.
With brilliant cinematography and a beautiful score, the Best Picture winner at the 13th Osaka Asian Film Festival intertwines the social issues of the past and present through poignant human stories.
The film’s major flaw, however, lies in the fact that it tends to tell rather than show. Still, despite this heavy-handedness, its message is a powerful one, and will give you something to reflect on as you leave the cinema.
Edited by Charlotte Ames-Ettridge