28 Sep – Wong Hing Fan recently revealed that he had wanted to tell the story of the homeless even before he became an actual filmmaker.
In an interview with Mingpao, the Hong Kong director who made his directorial debut with the award-winning film, "I'm Livin' It" starring Aaron Kwok, stated that he first became interested in the subject after he saw several reports on the homeless who would stay overnight at the 24-hour McDonald's.
"It was not until ten years later when I became a filmmaker that I began to look back at newspaper clippings of the story and realised that the problem still exists. So I decided to write a script based on the subject," he said.
Wong also acknowledged the fact that the housing problem in Hong Kong was one of the reasons for such a situation to emerge.
"Before 1997, there was a phenomenon called "Cage Citizen", which talked about the living conditions of middle-aged and elderly men in cage homes. But sadly, the housing problem in Hong Kong is still the same. Seriously, it hasn't changed," he said.
Wong said he originally wanted to write about the life of this group of homeless people in fast food restaurants at night, but after two years of collecting data and talking to many homeless people, he found that their difficulties lie in how they face society and family during the day, as well as the stress from their livelihoods.
"Work is very important to them. When I was doing data collection, I heard a conversation between two homeless people. Although there were only two sentences, "Have you worked again recently?", "Just at the tea restaurant you introduced". They can't live without a job. They can work and want to work. Whether it will really change their lives, I dare not say, at least they can survive. So I put the characteristics of helping people to work into Bowen (played by Aaron Kwok). Actually, I have a question mark at the end. How can these homeless people leave the fast food restaurant? I want to tell them, don't rely on this place anymore, try to leave to find work and earn money to rent a house. Get out of this living situation."
As to the objective of the movie, Wong said that it is so that the public is aware of these people.
"They have their own stories. I don't want people to hate or discriminate them. They all want to have jobs and a roof over their heads too," he added.
(Photo Source: Mingpao)