2005  |  Cantonese  |  35mm  |  Color  |  99min  |  Chinese Subtitle

Director: Johnnie To.Scriptwriter: Yau Nai-hoi, Yip Tin-shing.Cinematographer: Cheng Siu-keung.Editor: Patrick Tam.Art Director: Tony Yu.Costume: Stanley Cheung.Music: Lo Ta-Yu

Cast: Simon Yam, Tony Leung Ka-fai, Louis Koo

Producer: Dennis Law, Johnnie To.Production: Milkyway Image.World Sales: Media Asia Distribution


Johnnie To’s very own The Godfather was an unlikely box-office success—a violent, unglamorous triad saga featuring bone-dry humor and nary a hint of gunplay. Election chronicles the power struggles and shady dealings surrounding the election of the new Wo Shing Society chairman. The cutthroat politics on display draw parallels to the inner workings of corporations and the Hong Kong government, leading us to ponder the thematic opposition of tradition and capitalism.

Date:       21/4 (Friday)

Time:      9:45pm

Venue:   HK Science Museum Lecture Hall

Free admission for all screenings. Tickets are available to public on-site 30 minutes prior to each screening on a first-come, first served basis. Limit to one ticket per person.

*Persons Aged Under 18 are not allowed.


Triad societies have always existed in Hong Kong. They form a major part of the territory’s history and culture. They exist within the psyche of every Hong Kong citizen. During the course of their history, triad societies have always been closely associated with society at large. Similar to a political party, a triad society mobilizes manpower and other resources to achieve its aim. When political and economic changes take place and threaten its existence, a triad society either re-invents itself or adapts. Today, triad societies are no different from criminal organizations in other parts of the world. Compared to their original patriotic cause 300 years ago, a triad’s raison d’etre today is simply practical: money and power. In this day and age, business means everything, regardless whetherthe means of achieving it are unlawful and often violent. Election offers a realistic look at what it means to be a gangster in Hong Kong today: people areconsumed by greed and power. Through the bitter rivalry between the story’s two candidates, Lok and Big D, we see tradition and discipline begin to disintegrate as individual ambition and greed take over. Ancient ceremonies and blood oaths mean nothing more than symbolic formality. Election is as much a film about Hong Kong’s history as it is about human beings. In the film, there are no romantic or larger-than-life heroes. We see realistic human beings caught in a violent struggle for power, whether by choice or by fate. We see power and greed, sadly, continuing to corrupt fundamental human values in a vicious cycle.

Johnnie To The 30th HKIFF Main Catalogue