Hong Kong has long been an anomaly in Asia, largely owing to the hundred-year lease Britain obtained on the colony following the Opium Wars. After the Second World War the population rapidly increased. Given both the Eastern and Western influences and different political tensions and ideologies, it became the economic hub of the region. However, while it’s famous for its shiny skyscrapers, the now Special Administrative Region of China is densely populated. A place where the gap between rich and poor is stark. This is the backdrop to Drifting.

Upon leaving jail, Fai (Francis Ng) is welcomed back onto the street with a free shot of dope, as is the tradition. He resumes life with his friends, living in temporary DIY shelters. However, when the authorities decide to throw their possessions into a garbage truck, they decide enough is enough. With the encouragement of Ms Ho (Cecilia Choi), a friendly social worker, they take their battle to the courts.

Drifting is a thoughtful and empathetic film which deals with the struggles, both person and public, of a group of people brought together through circumstance. In many ways, it doesn’t matter why they’re homeless. Jun Li’s film is more concerned with how we, as a society, treat people who find themselves in this situation. Based on a true story and filmed during the ongoing political protests, Drifting is a quietly powerful and gently touching drama.  

Drifting screened at International Film Festival Rotterdam.