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Archive - 11th Five Flavours Film Festival

Boat People

Tau ban no hoi
Hong Kong, China 1982, 106’
subtitles: Polish and English
director: Ann Hui
screenplay: Tai Yau An-ping
cinematography: David Chung, Huang Zong Ji, Wong Chung Kay
editing: Kin Kin
music: Law Wing-fai
cast: Chang Tung-sheng, Gan Shui-chiu, Hao Jialing, Jia Meiying, George Lam, Shiomi Akutagawa, Andy Lau
producer: Xia Meng
production: Bluebird Movie Enterprises Ltd.
language: Cantonese, Vietnamese
colouration: colour

Awards and festivals

Hong Kong Film Awards 1983 - Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best New Performer, Best Art Direction

Film description

A moving portrayal of post-war Vietnam, inspired by conversations Ann Hui had with Vietnamese refugees, known as "boat people," when she was still working in television. The final film of her "Vietnamese Trilogy" takes on the perspective of a Japanese photographer, Shiomi Akutagawa (George Lim), who returns to Danang in 1978.

Three years after the fall of Saigon, he is invited by the communist government to show the world the prosperity of the newly established country. But the reality Akutagawa discovers is very different from the official slogans. The country is ridden by poverty, which the photographer discovers through the story of little Cam Nuong (Season Ma). He also visits a work camp where Minh (one of the first roles of Andy Lau) is sent after he tries to steal Akutagawa's camera to finance an illegal boat journey to Hong Kong.

The controversial topic, which the Vietnamese government tried to suppress, cost Ann Hui a Palme d'Or nomination. The film was initially selected to for the main competition in Cannes in 1983, but under the pressure from French government, desperate to have good relationship with the Vietnamese authorities, the film was rejected and shown out of competition, as a surprise film.

Emilia Skiba

Ann Hui

Born in 1947 in Manchuria. Graduate of the University of Hong Kong and London Film School. Director, screenwriter, producer, actress. One of the leading filmmakers of the Hong Kong new wave. Praised for works taking up controversial social issues, especially her Vietnam Trilogy.


1979 Tajemnica / Fung gip / The Secret

1982 Boat People. Uchodźcy z Wietnamu / Tau ban no hoi / Boat People

1990 Ke tu qui hen / Song of the Exile

1995 Letni śnieg / Nu ren si shi / Summer Show

1999 Qian yan wan yu / Ordinary Heroes

2008 Tacy jesteśmy / Tin Shui Wai dik yat yu ye / The Way We Are 

2009 Noc i mgła / Tin Shui Wai dik ye yu mo / Night and Fog 

2011 Proste życie / Tao jie / A Simple Life

2014 Złoty wiek / Huang jin shi dai / The Golden Era

2017 Nadejdzie nasz czas / Ming yue ju shi you / Our Time Will Come

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