You are currently displaying Big5
投奔怒海 (1982)
Boat People

Reviewed by: ororama
Date: 05/06/2022

Reviewed by: ororama
Date: 05/06/2022

Reviewed by: ororama
Date: 05/06/2022

Boat People looks at the post-war political situation in Vietnam as the government consolidates its power in the south. George Lam gives a strong performance as a naive Japanese photojournalist invited to return to Da Nang three years after the end of the war to document the progress made in reforming the region. He eventually begins to notice that he is only photographing things that his Communist Party minder wants him to, and gets permission to work on his own from a friend, a world-weary Party official (Qi Meng-Shi). He meets the official's mistress (Cora Miao), who has progressed form relationships with Japanese to French to American to Vietnamese military officers and runs an underground restaurant/bar for the elite. She helps him make connections. He befriends a poor teenager (Season Ma) and her family who are scrounging to survive as well as a former U.S. Army translator (Andy Lau), now regarded as a social undesirable.

Director Ann Hui creates a believable Vietnam, assisted by excellent performances by Season Ma, Qi Meng-Shi and Cora Miao and a very good performance by Andy Lau at the beginning of his career. The movie mostly avoids the melodrama common in Hong Kong productions and presents nuanced portraits of a variety of people within Vietnamese society. Commonly viewed as anti-Vietnamese and/or pro-Chinese at the time of its release, it now seems more fair to regard it as representing a humanist, anti-authoritarian position, rather than grinding a particular political ax.

Boat People is one of the great Hong Kong movies of the 1980s, and lessons that are still valuable can be taken from it, even though the political controversies it engaged are now mostly forgotten.

Reviewed by: pjshimmer
Date: 07/13/2013
Summary: Great film

Finally saw it. My expectations were high, having always seen it regarded as one of the crown jewels of HK cinema. I'm happy to say I wasn't disappointed. I was highly engrossed in the intense drama. Great performances by the entire cast. Cora Miao is so beautiful, seductive, and mysterious here.

The language choice was distracting. A Japanese visits Vietnam and talks to all Vietnamese people in - you guessed it - Cantonese. Other than that, film is almost perfect.

Reviewer Score: 9

Reviewed by: STSH
Date: 03/15/2006
Summary: Stunning

Close to film-making perfection.

For those who doubt it, this is *the* film that proves that George Lam really can act and Ann Hui is a terrific director. Having seen "Lam" in any number of fluffy roles where he simply either sings or hangs around, it was great to see him tackle this meaty role, as a photo journalist on assignment in Vietnam who gets to close to his subject. But top acting honours go to Season Ma, whose performance is both gritty and flawless.

This is one of only a small number of films made in HK that deal with people smuggling from Vietnam in any serious manner, and it is stark and compulsive viewing. A must see.

Reviewer Score: 10

Reviewed by: Inner Strength
Date: 11/16/2002
Summary: CLASSIC

Excellent film. A classic!


Reviewer Score: 10

Reviewed by: hkcinema
Date: 12/08/1999

Drama recounting the story of a journalist (Lam) visitingVietnam during the Vietnam war. He meets various characters in the story. One of the being Lau's Vietnamese character who does everything to save enough money in order to smuggle out of the country. Very graphic in some scenes depicting the war and a sad ending.

[Reviewed by Edith Fung]