After This Our Exile

After This Our Exile ★★★★

Perhaps not the ideal movie to watch on Father's Day. A harrowing familial drama with allegorical intentions about the collective identity of Hong Kong post-1997 handover. There are a lot of ways to interpret this film, and the text itself is an effective drama that is wonderfully rendered, but subtextually it is so ripe for investigation, being in my eyes a commentary on the people of Hong Kong themselves as they attempt to find a new identity, between their familiar, colonial past and their foreign, PRC present. Perhaps a little long in the tooth, but it's a strikingly effective work that deploys anachronistic editing to perfection, accentuating the ontological struggle within that is beautifully matched by the expressivity of the performances, particularly by Aaron Kwok who delivers a truly wonderful and layered performance.