Introduction by Jia Zhangke
“A film painted with Caravaggiesque streaks of light set amidst the deepest moral gloom, Election is a standout in To’s oeuvre for its thematic complexity and political weight. Operatic in conception, the film pits two of Hong Kong’s finest actors (Simon Yam and Tony Leung Ka-fai) against each other as rival gang kingpins vying to become the new leader of one of the city’s oldest triad societies, the one preaching rational, business-like management, the other embracing a cult of charismatic personality and atavistic violence. Johnnie To and team researched Hong Kong—triad lore to create this grimly authentic portrait of a highly ritualized underworld society perched on the brink of chaos; while the proceedings are gun-free, the shadow of violence (and the limits of democracy, Hong Kong-style) hovers over every tense interaction. ‘Shakespearean … [To is] a first-rate entertainer who can thrill you into thinking’ (The New York Times).”
Print Source: Kino Lorber
Country: Hong Kong/China
Running time: 100min
Director: Johnnie To
Films and schedules may be subject to change.
Modern Cinema’s Founding Supporters are Carla Emil and Rich Silverstein. Generous support is provided by Nion McEvoy and the Susan Wildberg Morgenstein Fund.