Reviews on Amazon Out of sight, (very) close to the heart

a ghost story

Based on a work so brief that it may be difficult to trace a handful of leitmotifs, Lulu Wang has nevertheless managed to establish a clear preoccupation Themes related to loss, intimacy, as well as cultural disparities, Where he explores with polemical skill the moral quandaries of a near-death encounter the farewellThe filmmaker now chooses to focus on the tragic entanglement of three American expatriates in Hong Kong.

Requiring narrative and emotional comprehensibility, Janice Lee’s original novel begins well before the drama that will punctuate the plot thereafter; But instead of following this model, Wang immediately takes the audience to the center of the tragedy., Their approach is not one of upheaval, but of perseverance, of adaptation, of learning. Even a denial. Rather than introduce their story with some exposition, the filmmakers and screenwriters opt for confession; Mercy Ki, a young Korean-American immigrant played with raw vulnerability by Ji-Young Yoo.

“These stories always talk about the victims. The person responsible is never mentioned. (…) I want to know these criminals. I want to know the people who caused these tragedies. These People like me.”

Overseas: Photo, Ji-Young YooWe’ll also highlight the beauty of frames and overframing.

The event in question is initially left silent for the audience to speculate without the comfort of certainty. A proven process, certainly, but one that still requires commitment. An opportunity for the filmmaker to carefully present the many faces involved in his story.

More than showcasing diverse characters, the series delves deeper into the narrative’s specific issues of three women and the people around them. It is then a question of forgiveness, of suffering, of expectations and of questions related to motherhood – or more generally, womanhood –, social and geographical relations , but above all, immigrants It’s a ghost story. The representation of ghosts by many horror subgenres as much as any other is a way of giving a certain physicality to their own demons in order to better exorcize them later. But reality is rarely so forgiving.

Here, the ghost of tragedy is freed by jumpy, frenetic violins; It is now frightening, contemplative, diffuse. The six episodes that make up the series take place one after the other in an almost punishing rhythm, Which forces the viewer to experience pain within seconds.

Diaspora: Photo, Saryu RaoDiaspora: Photo, Saryu RaoSaryu Rao, whose character was completely written in his favor

American (Nightmare)

It would have been incredibly simplistic to limit the story to the sadness of its three protagonists, while pushing their privileges into the background – or even ignoring them altogether. But this is where all of Wang’s sensibilities come to the fore. Inspired by the need to transfer one’s own family history to the landscape the farewellShe repeats the exercise by relating Lee’s story to her own uprooted experience.

A Chinese-American born in Beijing, he moved to the United States at the age of six, the filmmaker explained during an interview with the column. the trend Doesn’t know how to define herself: ,Am I an expat? Am I an immigrant? Which community do I most identify with, and how will I tell the story of the intersection of these different identities (…)? I didn’t know if I could be everything to everyone.

Using this personal question as a starting point, Wang presents an object at the intersection of identities, communities, their respective concerns, and by extension, the many socio-economic disparities that exist in Hong Kong.

Overseas: Photo, Ji-Young YooOverseas: Photo, Ji-Young YooAn ideal that stood the test of the 2014 Chhatra Andolan

The luxurious daily lives of the new expatriate bourgeoisie are depicted with the same interest as the more modest native classes, punctuated by political demands, gossip, pro-democracy demonstrations and bingo games. A prejudice that led to the series being banned from airing in the same city where it takes placeaccording to local government South Morning China Post, Criticized some sequences for not presenting the city in a favorable light.

In this regard, the fifth episode is particularly notable due to its duration (1 hour 40 minutes) and its spotlight on the servants employed in the homes of said immigrants; Margaret and Hillary, sure, but also a host of other Westerners, either out of professional obligation or in search of renewal, descended upon the soil of the “fragrant port.” Initially visible in the shadows, emerging from corners at the slightest call, they are eventually seen Freed from the prying eyes of the families they serve by filmmakersWho then adjusts his cinematographic equipment according to their scale.

Overseas: photoOverseas: photointernal affairs

Hong Kong, my love

The fifth episode above, titled Central District, can be seen as a half-culpable backpedal, a clumsy defense designed to deflect potential complaints from a public tired of the troubles of rich houses. Yet it would be simplistic to try to compare this narrative arc to that of Margaret, Hillary or even Mercy. More than just a supplementary plot to the accident around which the story revolves, The filmmaker’s approach forces perspective, raises questions about his subject matter, and highlights one of the best aspects of his serialized offering.

With the help of the curious lens of its photo director Anna Francesa-Solano (who had already worked on the farewell), film producer presents the city as a character in its own right : complex, contradictory and multifaceted. More than a theater of social inequalities, more than a playground for opportunistic careerists, Hong Kong has become a buzzing entity with an irregular heartbeat.

Overseas: Photo, Nicole KidmanOverseas: Photo, Nicole Kidmantragic detective

Colorful neon lights, sheet metal and stone architecture, streets littered with bodies, packed shops, patched-up vans or state-of-the-art vehicles, lush vegetation and low-lying lights are all elements involved in recreating a metropolis marked by overflow.

Make no mistake, it’s never a question of decisions or easy shortcuts. No particular moral can be drawn from this dispassionate-practical study Where the suffering of some people in no way escapes the suffering of others. Every character blends in like a stone in a pond. From one side, immigrants succeeds where lost in Translation Sofia Coppola was satisfied with a traditional exploration, a misguided orientalism. If the city is a character, it is subject to mutation by later contact. Wang’s note of intent can be summarized as follows what Janice Lee has already observed in her work:

Overseas: Photo, Nicole KidmanOverseas: Photo, Nicole Kidmanin a lonely mood

“(The migrants) are then swept up and taken to the highway, which is so clean, so much newer than the villages that run along it, compared to what was there before all these new buildings were built. Remnants; these huge complexes were built to house an ever-expanding population, these people who would soon be their co-workers, their employees, their employers, their drivers. Everyone disperses, quickly absorbed into this new home. When they go, they remain just a face in the crowd.”

The first five episodes of Expats are already available on Amazon Prime Video. The sixth and final episode of the series will be aired on 23 February.

Diaspora: PosterDiaspora: Poster

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