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Archive - 7th Five Flavours Film Festival

Drug War

Du zhan
China, Hong Kong 2012, 107’
subtitles: Polish and English
director: Johnnie To
screenplay: Wai Ka-fai, Yau Nai-hoi, Ryker Chan, Yu Xi
cinematography: Cheng Siu-keung
editing: Allen Leung, David M. Richardson
music: Xavier Jamaux
cast: Louis Koo, Sun Honglei, Huang Yi
language: Mandarin, Cantonese
colouration: colour

Film description

"According to the Chinese law, producing 50 grams of amphetamine is punishable by death" - says captain Zhang to a captured drug producer, Timmy Choi. Choi decides to cooperate. If he exposes the powerful network of producers and dealers of illegal substances, he will save his life. When the complicated operation of the drug squad begins, there is no time for a moment of sleep.

Johnnie To's first action film made in China is remarkably different from his Hong Kong productions. The visual madness gives way to a grimy realism and almost documentary-like cinematography. In "Drug War" the cold-colored China is a land of enormous contrasts, with luxurious hotels, fast trains, and glamorous night clubs, as well as gray landscapes and illegal drug factories with deaf and dumb workers.

"Drug War", compared by the western critics to "French Connection", is a proof that even under the close surveillance of the Chinese censors, To is able to maintain his identity and continue to be one of the best contemporary directors of action cinema.

Marcin Krasnowolski

Johnnie To

Director, screenwriter, producer (born 1955), author of films belonging to many genres and styles, best known as the master of action cinema. Awarded at numerous festivals, a cult artist and a role model for filmmakers like Quentin Tarantino, appreciated for combining sharp social observations with dynamic image and unconventional narration.

Selected filmography:

1980 Bik seoi hon saan dyut meng gam / The Enigmatic Case
1989 Ah-long dik gu si / All About Ah-long
1995 Mou mei san taam / Loving You
1998 Bohater nie umiera nigdy / Chan sam ying hung / A Hero Never Dies
2001 Chuen jik sat sau / Fulltime Killer
2003 Daai zek lou / Running on Karma
2005 Wybór mafii / Hak se wui / Election
2007 Psychodetektyw / San taam / Mad Detective
2012 Kartel / Du zhan / Drug War

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