【明報專訊】STILL HUMAN, director Oliver Chan Siu-kuen (陳小娟)'s debut, has won her, Anthony Wong, and Crisel Consunji honours locally and abroad. Its highly relatable story projects a loud voice for the forgotten or the invisible in Hong Kong. We applaud Chan's achievement as the movie was top of the Easter box office in the territory. Perhaps more will savour the beautiful portrayal of the life of nobodies and how they manage to live a worthy life.
Leung Cheong-wing (Anthony Wong) needs daily assistance almost round the clock because he is paralysed from the chest down. The middle-aged man, unfortunately, is facing a higher degree of struggle and suffering in life. Abandoned by his wife and son, who are pursuing a much better life in America, Cheong-wing is hardly visited by his sister — Jing-ying (Cecilia Yip), whose higher education was financed by her brother working as a construction worker.
The job of taking care of Cheong-wing is made tougher as he is living in a cramped public housing unit. In the opening scene, the wheel-chair bound man meets Evelyn (Crisel Consunji), his new Filipino helper and another nobody who has a basic need to survive. The movie then unfolds the challenges confronting the employer and the employee, and the blossom of an implausible friendship of the duo, seasons through seasons.
This very heart-touching movie makes many of us cry. Oliver Chan artfully crafted the tale of how two people with hardships of life develop mutual respect and let their humility transcend into being dream-givers to one another. That said, she doesn't shy away from revealing the darker side of the two parties — Hong Kong employers and their foreign domestic helpers. Chan demonstrates her strong power in reflecting reality.
Her key message is that under one roof, or under the same sky, we are all humans. Personally, the ending, in particular, brings back intense emotions as I once had a dutiful Filipino helper who took good care of my aged mother. The picture of this sentimental girl bursting into tears at my mother's deathbed is still very vivid in my mind.
1. Which of the following doesn't explain why Cheong-wing is "invisible"?
A. He speaks a rough language.
B. He is disabled.
C. He is neglected by his loved ones.
2. Which of the following doesn't explain why Evelyn is "invisible"?
A. Foreign domestic helpers are often discriminated against by local people.
B. She has no dreams and she lives an unworthy life.
C. She suffers poverty and has to secure her employment as a maid.
shy away 躲避
By Venny Lai, a former Language Instructor at the PolyU and an experienced teacher of English Language and Literature