Friday Night Film - DRIFTING

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The Hong Kong Film Awards returns this Sunday with its 40th edition and with the impact of the global pandemic hitting Hong Kong harder than most, it’s the first in-person version of the event since 2019. This week’s Friday Night Film pick is one of those leading the race for honors in Jun Li’s bleak drama DRIFTING. Nominated for 11 awards, the film is considered one of the frontrunners for Best Film along with Soi Cheang’s crime thriller Limbo, which is yet to receive a UK release.
Based on a real-life incident that took place in 2012, Drifting follows the lives of homeless people who populate the Sham Shui Po district in Kowloon, Hong Kong, and the day-to-day struggles they face. Li’s portrayal of the unpleasant aspects of this reality is unflinching and leads to a very human account of this community on the margins of society. 
Featuring a strong lead performance from Francis Ng, known more for his work in genre films like Internal Affairs, is a leading candidate for this year's Best Actor award as the ex-convict forced to head back to the streets and search for some form of dignity in a trying way of life. Drifting might be considered too miserable a watch for some, but its honest account of the uncomfortable realities of modern-day Hong Kong is compelling and Li, whose feature debut Tracey broke new ground as the first Hong Kong film to feature a trans protagonist, is standing out among the crowd of the countries new wave filmmakers.

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