Hong Kong, summer 1997: while preparations are underway for the handover of the British Crown Colony to China, the underworld finds that it too must adapt to profound changes. With the opening of the border to China, new codes and mores make their way into the world of the triads – and those who don’t adjust their business models have already lost.
A genre film from Hong Kong that chooses to set its story during those years of turmoil is tantamount to a double swan song. For these political changes also effectively spelled the end of an independent Hong Kong cinema that was admired across Asia. One of the few directors who has continued to defend and develop the genre is Johnnie To. By producing Triviṣa, To is flying the flag for three up-and-coming directors who tell the stories of three legendary gangsters of the period. This is not an anthology film, but rather an overlapping story of men who become victims of their own legends. As chance brings them all together one day in the same restaurant on the Chinese side of the border, rumours swirl that the three are planning a joint coup. In elegant fashion, hype and hubris lead to their downfall.
Hong Kong, China 2016, 97 min
Frank Hui, Jevons Au, Vicky Wong
Lam Ka Tung
Tommy Wong Kwong-leung
Media Asia Film Distribution