With Prisoners - Tung Cau同囚
Andrew Wong’s film about juvenile delinquents can be viewed as a companion piece to Herman Yau’s equally raw and powerful From the Queen to the Chief Executive (2001). Based on true stories, both argue that a society should be judged on how it treats its weakest. Young gang leader Fan (Neo Yau) is sentenced to three months of detention after scuffling with a drunken, off-duty cop who was publicly abusing his girlfriend. Senior staff members at Sha Tsui Detention Center don’t believe in rehabilitation but nevertheless practice Margaret Thatcher’s “short, sharp shock” method of reeducation, without Britain’s post-1997 reforms. The youths are dehumanized, routinely beaten and, at one point, even forced to eat their lunch menus (ketchup last!). The best advice that the rebellious Fan gets is to conform and wait until he’s 24 to commit crimes—so he can be sent to a prison that respects human rights.