Films & Schedules

  • Plastic City

  • Yu Lik-wai

Portuguese, Mandarin
118 minutes

Production Company:
Gullane Filmes/Xstream Pictures
Executive Producer:
Caio Gullane, Rui Pires, André Montenegro, Tom Cheung
Fabiano Gullane, Caio Gullane, Chow Keung, Jia Zhang-ke, Yuji Sadai, Tsui Siu Ming
Yu Lik-wai, Fernando Bonassi, Liu Fendou
Production Designer:
Cássio Amarante
Lai Yiu Fai
Wenders Li
Ken Wong
Yoshihiro Hanno
Principal Cast: Joe Odagiri, Anthony Wong, Huang Yi, Tainá Müller, Jeff Chen

International Sales Agent:
Celluloid Dreams

Monday September 0809:30PM AMC 6 Add Film to MyTIFF Filmlist
Wednesday September 1004:45PM ISABEL BADER THEATRE Best Bet Add Film to MyTIFF Filmlist
Saturday September 1307:00PM AMC 8 Add Film to MyTIFF Filmlist

Famous for its ethnic diversity, Brazil is also home to a vibrant Asian population. São Paulo alone has the largest Japanese immigrant community in the world, and the Chinese have been settled there since the 1949 Communist Revolution. They all come to a district called Liberdade – or “Freedom” – to look for a new life and fresh opportunities in the New World. This is the setting for Plastic City, a seductive, violent yet philosophical gangster drama that takes us from the jumbled sprawl of the favelas to the deep Amazonian rainforest.

The story revolves around Yuda (Anthony Wong of Infernal Affairs and The Sun Also Rises), who heads the pirated goods racket in Liberdade and beyond, and his adopted son Kirin (Joe Odagiri of Princess Raccoon and Bright Future), whose playboy lifestyle belies an idealistic devotion to Yuda. But their empire is crumbling, as corrupt politicians and rival gangs seek to end their power in the city. Yuda is soon arrested, but escapes after faking his own death. Meanwhile, Kirin gathers the last vestige of those loyal to him for a final retaliation: a spectacular, neo-apocalyptic gang fight on top of a broken highway overpass. But the violence brings only regret, and the son soon sets off to find his father, leading the narrative to culminate in a hallucinatory finale in the mysterious jungle.

Yu Lik-wai is possibly best known as the acclaimed cinematographer for Jia Zhang-ke, but he himself is an accomplished auteur in his own right. His first feature, Love Will Tear Us Apart, was a melancholic tale of alienation among urban immigrants – a recurring theme in his subsequent works. In All Tomorrow's Parties, Yu's restless social commentary remained evident, but his digital image manipulation made for stunning, otherworldly compositions – and solidified a technique that he carries over with remarkable effects to Plastic City.

By combining art house sensibilities with a wicked genre bend, this unique Hong Kong-Brazilian co-production is a radical fusion that heralds new cinematic possibilities in our globalized world.

Raymond Phathanavirangoon

Yu Lik-wai was born in Hong Kong and studied film at L'Institut National Supérieur des Arts du Spectacle in Belgium. As a cinematographer, he is best known for his work on the films of acclaimed Chinese director Jia Zhang-ke, including Platform (00), Still Life (06), and 24 City (08), which is also playing at the Festival. His feature films are Love Will Tear Us Apart (99), All Tomorrow's Parties (03) and Plastic City (08).

Cadillac People's Choice Award