This independently produced movie was filmed entirely in Hong Kong including the use of some of the actual World War 2 battle sites.
In 1941, Tom a young Canadian soldier living in Winnipeg has been ordered to serve in the far-flung British colony of Hong Kong. Tom’s wife Emma is worried about the potential dangers of Tom’s deployment, but Hong Kong is considered a relatively safe posting, as the “real war” is happening in Europe.
Arriving into Hong Kong, Tom checks into the Royal Hotel, a slightly defunct establishment full of war profiteers, refugees, and spies. Here he meets a mysterious female journalist named Mayling who works for the South China News Agency.
Mayling who fled the Japanese attack of Canton in 1938, is haunted by the ongoing war in China, especially after the disappearance of her husband during the fall of Canton. The Royal Hotel is her refuge and also the base camp of her protagonist, a Mr. Cheung who had a secret meeting with her husband before he went missing.
Mr. Cheung is an opportunist, operating at the front lines of the war zone where the most profits can be gained. Mr. Cheung is also a hard-nosed political operator with uncertain loyalties. Mayling suspects Mr. Cheung is playing a two-sided game, but whose side is he on?
In early December, Tom has been assigned to a military recon group in charge of watching the Japanese troop movements along the Hong Kong border. Stranded thousands of miles from home, Tom sadly contemplates the upcoming Christmas holiday with only the infrequent mail service providing him a glimmer of hope for some communication with his wife.
The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor changes everything. The whole Pacific blows up into a war zone. During the early morning hours of December 8th, the Japanese attack Hong Kong. The fighting goes badly for the British army, as the Japanese forces quickly gain the upper hand. It becomes apparent to Tom and Mayling that Hong Kong will soon fall to the Japanese. There is nowhere to go, and the refuge of the Royal Hotel now becomes a trap. The underlying Christmas spirit that normally brings friends and family together is now being ripped apart by the onslaught of war.
Hong Kong fell to the Japanese on Christmas day. That day is now remembered in Hong Kong as the Black Christmas.
Hong Kong Film Rating: IIA (Not suitable for children)
Written & Directed by Craig McCourry who will be available for a Q&A afterward.
All funds raised during this screening will be donated to the HONG KONG EX-SERVICEMEN’S ASSOCIATION.
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