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When The Sun Rises


When The Sun Rises is a historical drama set against the eve of the Hong Kong Handover on 30 June 1997 during the final hours of British-sovereign rule over the crown colony of Hong Kong. Its return to China, the motherland is imminent.

Torrential rain beats down over Victoria Harbour, its dramatic skyline appears electric with lights and energy. The Tamar site on the waterfront is literally ‘awash’ with pomp and ceremony. No one does it better then the Brits! Adjacent, stands the newly Chinese-built Convention Centre stretching out into the harbour like a giant stingray, its monolithic presence a reminder of China’s new and expansive reach.

Tomorrow is 1 July 1997 and seven million Hong Kong residents will wake up in Communist China. Do the ominous storm clouds portend trouble brewing?

The anxiety of what tomorrow will bring appears to be lost on the one million revelers descending on the city. For them, this is simply the world’s biggest party. When the government dignitaries, celebrities and bon-vivants wake up tomorrow morning, 1 July 1997 will just be another day. But for the residents of this city, no one knows what will happen.

The lives of four residents literally collide during the final hours under British rule. Each feels trepidation and anxiety for their future. Martin, the young entitled British-banker is desperately trying to hale a cab to get to his ball, impossible on a night like this. He crashes into May Lee who thinks she’s found her prince.

A Shanghainese octogenarian, May Lee fled China as a young woman in the 1940’s with her sister Wu Lin during the Communist uprising. Tomorrow, she wakes up in Communist-China, fearing for her future. Martin enlists the help of Florence, a British educated Chinese mystic passing by. He is dating Nancy an American who desperately wants to have kids.

Loyal to British Crown his entire life, a local taxi-driver feels abandoned by the Thatcherite-government. No passports have been issued or safe-haven offered from the Brits to the “slanty-eyed English-man” who sets out on a mission of petty revenge.

These characters are drawn unexpectedly into each other’s worlds, living separately together under British rule for the last 155 years. Speaking different languages, though on the eve of the Handover, they share their humanity. For the residents of this soggy city, what will tomorrow bring…When The Sun Rises?

Three stories are woven together - the human story, the political story of Hong Kong and the analogy to the Cinderella fairytale.

This is a story about human frailty and uncertainty; cultures clashing and overcoming language barriers; human bonding and compassion. Set on the fringes of one of the most globally important backdrops – China, against the world’s most dramatic skyline, When The Sun Rises cuts through cultural, political and social boundaries and traditions. A cultural Diaspora, the story is told in English, and Cantonese.

English subtitle: 
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