Still Human-a Hong Kong Movie Heartening Downtrodden HKers to Keep their Dream. By Chapman Chen
Updated: Apr 17, 2019
Summary: The 3- awards-winning Hong Kong Cantonese movie, Still Human淪落人 (lit. frustrated ones), seems to encourage Hongkongers to keep up their dream of self-reliance & democracy despite brutal colonization by China. The paralyzed hero therein may also symbolize the male lead Anthony Wong himself, a great actor who has been boycotted in China & shunned by most HK film companies for supporting the Umbrella Movement. This film is the first made-in-HongKong movie centered around a discriminated Filipino maid (Crisel Consunji), who develops a close relationship with her disabled lonely employer (Anthony Wong). Besides keeping one's dream, another theme of the film is that to be a dream-giver may even be happier. E.g., Consunji helps Wong to realize his dream of reconciling with his alienated family; Wong helps Consunji to realize her dream of pursuing further studies abroad in photography though he much needs her service. In reality, Wong has helped the green director Oliver Chan to realize her dream by doing this film for free as Chan got a very limited budget, while Chan has helped Wong to realize his dream of once again doing a great movie. In his acceptance speech delivered at this year's HK Film Awards event, Wong cited Psalms 23:4, "...Fear no evil." In fact, Wong's name is removed from the Best Actor Awards list in most China media & Wong calls it white terror.
At the 2019 Hong Kong Film Awards, for the Hong Kong Cantonese movie Still Human, 57-year-old veteran Hong Kong actor Anthony Wong won his third Best Actor prize, Oliver Chan the Best Director, and Filipino actress Crisel Consunji the Best New Performer. The film garnered 8 nominations.
It is more blessed to give than to receive
The film is the first HK Cantonese movie centered around a Filipino maid working in HK. The plot is about the relationship between a Filipino maid (played by Consunji) and a paralyzed Hong Kong man (played by Wong), whose wife, after the accident which disabled Wong, divorced him, married a Putonghua-speaking Communist China man, and moved with Wong's son to the US. When Consunji and Wong first meet, they distrust each other. But gradually they develop friendship and even romantic love for each other. The theme is that everybody, including the downtrodden, discriminated and frustrated ones, should never give up their dream, and it is more blessed to give than to receive. For example, Consunji helps Wong to realize his dream of sending a remarkable present to his son to congratulate him on his graduation from a US college; and of reconciling with his younger sister; while Wong altruistically helps Consunji to realize her dream of pursuing further studies in photography and becoming a world-renowned photographer, although this means that Wong has to do without her much needed service.
Downtrodden Actor and Hongkongers
The disabled hero may symbolize Anthony Wong, one of the greatest actors in all times, who has been persecuted by Communist China. The character may also stand for Hongkongers in general who have been brutally colonized and badly exploited by Red China. As the green director Oliver Chan only got 3 million HK dollars' for this film from the HK Film Development Fund, Anthony Wong, who approved of Oliver Chan's script at first sight, did it for free. Anthony Wong is banned in China and shunned by most movie companies in HK for he has openly supported democracy for HK and the Umbrella Revolution. The news of his winning the best actor award for this film is deleted in all China media. In an earlier interview, Wong admitted that he has been regarded as a taboo in Hong Kong film industry, that he has not expected anyone to ask him to act again. And as observed by US Congress, UK Parliament, and German Human Rights Congress members, Hong Kong is becoming one country one system.
Fear No Evil
Towards the end of his speech at the Film Awards event, Anthony Wong cited Psalms 23:4, "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me."
Photo credit: Movie still, "Still Human"
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