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金雞 | Samson Chiu, 2002
Hong Kong | Cantonese with English subtitles | Format: 35mm | 106 minutes
Q&A with actress Sandra Ng.
Let’s learn Hong Kong history with hookers! Lesson #1: they’re called “chicken” in Cantonese. Sandra Ng plays Kum (means “gold,” hence “Golden Chicken”), a hooker with a heart of gold and a brain of bubblegum who takes us on a tour of Hong Kong’s history, as seen from the bedroom. Kum started turning tricks in high school, then moved on to an upscale nightclub where she overcame her lack of looks by developing a never-say-die personality. She goes independent, weathers Tiananmen Square, a couple of financial crises, the 1997 handover, and anything and everything else life throws at her, never losing hope that there will always be a better tomorrow. The idea of a movie about prostitution that’s fun and upbeat instead of serious and depressing could have gone very wrong, but Ng’s motor-mouthed, trick-turning Golden Chicken (for which she deservedly won a Best Actress award at the Golden Horses) is a cockeyed optimist who keeps us grounded and on track, representing everything good about Hong Kong people. She’s a woman making the best out of the bad hand life dealt her, and while she may not have chosen the best career possible, she’ll be damned if she’s going to complain about it. Part of HONG KONG FOREVER! Presented with the support of Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office New York.