Text: | Print|

Director tracks horror of child trafficking

2014-04-17 11:08 China Daily Web Editor: Li Yan

Hong Kong director Peter Chan's fifth film to be made on the mainland focuses on child smuggling.

Dear Child, the tentative title of his latest film, depicts several families who lost their children to smugglers. Chan was inspired by a documentary on the subject.

"It was so gloomy and depressing," says the father of an 8-year-old girl.

The documentary follows the parents in their desperate search. Some parents find themselves confronting new problems after they finally find their children, who have built emotional bonds with the families who bought them.

"Real life is so dramatic that the best scriptwriter would marvel at it," Chan says. The director, among the first Hong Kong filmmakers to shoot films on the mainland, has made four well-received works in different genres: Perhaps Love, The Warlords, Dragon and American Dreams in China.

Zhang Jin, scriptwriter of the 2013 smash hit American Dreams in China, took on this script as well. He went to Shenzhen in South China's Guangdong province, where the story is set, to live with the vendors there - the main characters in the film. His solid script gave Chan confidence.

"Although I am not a native on the mainland, I believe some emotions are universal," he says. "I do need experts on details. I think Zhang Jin has done a good job."

Chan has summoned a stellar team to stage the story, a heartbreaking but warm one.

Zhao Wei, the veteran actress and rising director, leads the cast in her first portrayal of a rural woman. As a mother to a 4-year-old girl, she was deeply touched by the storyline.

"It is more than moving. It is terrifying," she said at a news conference recently. "You never know when a disaster could haunt your life, and losing one's child is one of the most horrid things that can happen."

Child smuggling is a social issue prompting wide concern in China. The police have recovered more than 50,000 children from traffickers since 2009, according to the Ministry of Public Security.

Some parents formed unions to help each other in their search, which can last for years. Lawyers and intellectuals use Weibo, the Chinese answer to Twitter, to collect information and raise money for them.

In the film, actor Tong Dawei plays a lawyer who helps the parents. He hopes the film will raise more awareness of the issue.

The film will be released in early October.

Comments (0)
Most popular in 24h
  Archived Content
Media partners:

Copyright ©1999-2018 Chinanews.com. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.