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BROTHER

Hong Kong, 2001 (MIFF 2002, Regional Focus / Emergence)

Director: Yan Yan Mak

Hong Kong filmmaker Yan Yan Mak's debut scooped the coveted FIPRESCI Award at the 2001 Hong Kong Film Festival. Her ambitious film took the director from her home in bustling Hong Kong to a remote North Western province in China, a journey largely mirrored in the film's narrative.

Ah Ming searches for his brother, who ran away seven years prior. The only clue is a single letter sent from the remote town of Qinghai. Once there, Ah Ming slowly wins the trust of the locals and talks to his brother's friends. Eventually he finds his brother's Super-8 film and a map of China marked with his travels. Recognising that he is unlikely to ever find his brother, Ah Ming fatefully follows in his sibling's footsteps.

Dragging film equipment to Qinghai, 4,000 metres above sea level, Yan Yan Mak's modest crew worked at times with no electricity, no water, no money - even no trained actors! The result of this remarkable effort is a chronicle of great beauty and a certain melancholy amidst the vast story expanse in remote provincial China.

Yan Yan Mak's (born in Hong Kong, 1973) short film, Snap-shots, won the 1998 Hong Kong Short Film and Video Festival prize for best directing. Brother is her debut as a feature filmmaker.

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