Johnnie To, Election, 2005 (still); image: courtesy Alamy



Friday, Aug 4, 2017

6 p.m.

“It’s politics as usual when a triad society attempts to nominate a new boss in this slow-burn, atmospheric gangster thriller that starts off like a near-documentary study and winds up on the far side of Shakespearean tragedy. Two men vie to become the new leader of the Wo Shing Society, with the becalmed, forward-looking Lok (Simon Yam) the front-runner over loose cannon Big D (Tony Leung Ka-fai)….Neither can truly be boss, though, without the gang’s symbol, a centuries-old baton hidden in China. As fortunes rise and fall and allegiances shift (sometimes in the middle of one cell-phone call), Election moves from gangster film to tragicomedy to political satire.”

“As the psychological elements of the story push their way into the foreground, Election takes on a darker, more Shakespearean hue, and a rich political and moral subtext begins to take shape. By the end, Mr. To has proven himself to be a genre hack of uncommon intelligence and soul: a first-rate entertainer who can thrill you into thinking.”
— A.O. Scott, The New York Times

Film Details

Country: Hong Kong
Languages: Cantonese

Year: 2005

Running time: 100 min

Format: 35mm

Director: Johnnie To

Producers: Johnnie To, Dennis Law
Cinematographer: Cheng Siu-keung
Editor: Patrick Tam
Print Source: Kino Lorber

Films and schedules may be subject to change.

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