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Staff Review: Election

Digital Reporter Karolyn Judge reviews Election

Election is considered a ‘stone-cold classic’ here on the HOME website. If a stone-cold classic is a film that clearly underlines and enlightens me about issues I was kind of aware about from the news, it’s definitely true.

The traditional values that underpin the structure of the Wo Shing society are under threat when the two-year term of its chairman’s reign looms. It focuses on aspiring new candidates Lok and Big D who are already wealthy and individual names in mid 2000s Hong Kong, reflected by a timely reference to the SARS virus. They possess conflicting qualities and attitudes towards leadership which is decided based on the democratic process developed by Wo Shing.

The police attempt to keep the peace amid the escalating tension by employing the authority of the elders or ‘Uncles’ that aren’t exactly on the same page themselves. When the Uncles’ eventual united decision displeases the losing candidate, a race to obtain a dragon head baton (which is a symbol of power for the society) results in deaths and shifts in allegiances surrounding Lok’s considered and Big D’s attention-grabbing attempts to win the chairmanship.

The concepts of power, loyalty and tradition are expertly explored against the backdrop of a society finding its feet after its transition from British to Chinese rule. Election is a slow-burning yet watchable drama that subtly blurs the line between democracy and corruption in this reflection on modern-day politics.

Election screens at HOME on Mon 21 March as part of CRIME: Hong Kong Style. Watch the trailer, book tickets and find out more here.

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