SCENE 9 - Unregulated for Three, Dog Meat and Postman’s Dog Story
Aerial view of the Kowloon Walled City and shot of corridor with dripping water.
NAR: The Walled City of Kowloon carried a legacy of vice due to its lawlessness protected by Chinese sovereignty. It was considered to be, as a popular saying went in Hong Kong, "Unregulated for Three".
‘Three’ refers to three crimes or misdeeds: prostitution, gambling and drug abuse and trafficking. Other than that, the sleazy activities in the Walled City can be symbolized by the slang "CHICKEN", meaning prostitute and referring to prostitution;
A quick shot of a harassed chicken, followed by girl smacking camera with a rubber chicken.
GIRL: You bastard, how dare you! Go to hell! Drop dead! How can you! Go to hell! Drop dead quickly! Get lost right now!...............
NAR: "CROW", referring to opium because they were both black in colour;
Cutaway to a night med CU shot of a dog becoming shy.
And "DOG", referring to the illegal consumption of dog meat, and the popularity of gambling.
Great with Chinese rice wine on cold winter nights!
MOONCAKES:Upon the first time, it tasted like chicken (rooster attacks camera), but then when you had more, it tasted more like mutton.
Cut to the postman with a funny story related to his experiences of delivering mail in the Walled City.
POSTMAN: Many funny things happened to me in the Walled City. I smile whenever I think of them. Once I had to deliver mail in an old building. The staircase was very dark, so I carried a torchlight. As I reached the top, I saw two spots of light. They turned out to come from the eyes of a black dog! It barked and I fell straight from the third floor to the ground floor.
SCENE 10 - Former Resident Mr Law, Researcher Lee Wai Yee &
Mr Mooncakes + Statistics
Former Walled City resident and Structural Engineer at Housing Authority, LAW CHI WAI, and Chinese University Research Student, LEE WAI YEE, speak on their various thoughts on the Walled City people, as MR MOONCAKES tells us how to make traditional Chinese New Year cakes.
LAW: I don't remember this sort of things. I remember us to be good wholesome people.
LEE: Good! I believe that residents from the Walled City were mostly good, wholesome people.
MOONCAKES: Good! Good like the taste of my Chinese new year cakes. I started making new year cakes in the 1960’s for thirty odd years. This is how you make new year cakes: first you take one kilogram of sticky rice flour and one kilogram of sugar. Just like this! You place the ingredients in a container for steaming, and work on the dough to make it smooth. Then you add water to it.............
LEE: But I find that residents of the Walled City have preserved some old traditional practices.
Cutaway footage of Old lady hitting shape of man on ground with plastic slipper.
I say this because I’ve been to this place over 10 years ago. I saw an old lady, probably a resident there, vigourously giving out money to children. My folks were alarmed and immediately warned me not to accept the money if she approached me, because it was a traditional practice to pass on illness to others by giving out money to strangers in the street in order for one's family members to be cured. In this way, the illness would be passed on to those who took the change.
(GFX: As WAI YEE LEE finishes her story in the bottom left of the screen a Chinese New Year Cake pops into view and slowly rotates in this fixed position. WAI YEE LEE looks down at it in surprise then at the camera as lots of the cakes cover the screen.)
NAR: In 1983, there were 33 confectionery manufacturers, 93 plastic factories, 12 private water and electricity suppliers, 97 dentist’s clinics and 89 doctor's clinics in the Walled City.
SCENE 11 - Chinese Dr Lee Fung Hau Interview
Traditional Chinese Doctor LEE FUNG HAU interview in her clinic in Kowloon City.
DR LEE: I worked in a clinic in Lok Sin Tong (a community charitable organization) in Kowloon City as a doctor for the morning sessions.
Most of the patients there were residents of Kowloon Walled City. There were all types of patients including prostitutes and opium addicts. The opium addicts usually came to me to treat Asthma. Some patients might tell me that they smoked that stuff. They’d say that every doctor they saw urged them to cut out smoking opium, and that they planned to do so. They said that instead of smoking the opium, they’d soak it in alcohol, drink one glass of it each day, and then swallow it with a glass of white wine.
Despite the unhygienic and sleazy environment, lots of people who grew up there became successful in their lives, getting on to university elsewhere. Just because the environment wasn’t good does not mean that people wouldn’t turn out to be good citizens. Of course, the environment was bad.
Ends with footage of workers making fish balls in a factory in the Walled City.
SCENE 12 - MAURICE & Andy Wong in Guitar Workshop
MAURICE plays the blues in ANDY WONG’s guitar workshop. ANDY speaks to camera.
ANDY: MAURICE and I’ve known each other for 6-7 years during which our friendship hasn't always been well maintained because he was quite moody. Sometimes he'd be great to talk to; sometimes he'd have lots to pick on you. Therefore, once I hadn’t talked to him for two years in a row. Perhaps the impact of his handicap creates problems in the way he interacts with his other friends as well. He expresses himself in order to attract attention from others. Therefore, his personality may not be acceptable to others. Sometimes it actually repulses people. So, as far as I know, he can’t maintain good relations with friends for a long period of time.
MAURICE halts his guitar playing to address the camera.
MAURICE: I can be a rather moody person; to this I admit.
Focus on ANDY in background because ANDY has just struck his guitar and is now playing a riff. MAUIRCE jams in. The riff trails under into the next scene.
SCENE 13 - Interview with Nurse Henry Lam &
MAURICE Blue on Floor
Nurse HENRY LAM gives his opinion on ANDY’s comments on MAURICE and speaks about Hong Kong's policy towards the handicapped in his home.
HENRY: I can understand MAURICE's situation. He may be considered emotional and unstable by some; he may be suddenly warm with others and suddenly withdrawn and not so pleasant to be with. This instability is caused by social pressure and family concern. Perhaps his parents have been particularly caring and protective towards him, while strangers have shown prejudices against him. I think that we need to show more concern for handicapped people.
MAURICE’s blues guitar creeps in.
The Hong Kong Government began to allocate more resources to fulfill the needs of handicapped people in the late 1980’s to train youngsters up to the age of 16 to integrate into society. However, it’s doubtful they’d secure employment with commercial organizations when all they learn is work in a secluded workshop reserved for handicapped people. Most employers don’t have confidence in the ability of these young people to work in a commercial environment even after such training. In the end, one wonders what such training is for.
Handicapped people tend to feel more handicapped living in an environment like Hong Kong. Even simple everyday activities such us going to the supermarket or taking a lift involve considerable difficulty without slopes for wheelchairs. There’s no proper legislation to ensure that basic public facilities are designed to enable them to move around conveniently.
Cut to MAURICE playing the guitar on the floor at home.
MAURICE: I don’t consider myself to be handicapped because what others can do, I can manage, too. On the other hand, others may not be able to do some of the things that I can do, such as playing the guitar and the flute. What's more, not many people would have the courage to perform music in the street the way I do. I have many strengths over others. Although I may not be very well-off now, I think I am spiritually rich. I think I am a rather happy person. I respect myself, my life and my lifestyle.
SCENE 14 - History on Radio
Night view of Hong Kong harbour with sounds of the city panning to LAW CHI WAI interviewed in his home.
LAW: At that time, radio plays spreaded the message that poverty wasn’t a crime and encouraged listeners to be content with life, and to strive for a stable livelihood with legitimate means.
Cut to history of the Walled City of Kowloon from old radio:
RADIO ANGLE 1:
1846. For the purpose of defense, the inner walls of what preceded the Walled City of Kowloon were strengthened and work on constructing outer walls commenced. The Government took 26 years to finish the work. The characters Kowloon Walled City were inscribed on the southern main gate.
RADIO ANGLE 2:
1898. The New Territories were leased to Britain for 99 years. Chinese officials in the Walled City of Kowloon were to retain autonomy in governing it on condition that they would not interfere with troops stationed to defend Hong Kong.
World War 2. Japanese troops occupied Hong Kong. People were forced to dismantle some of the Walls for renovation of Kai Tak Airport, making the boundaries of the Walled City more vague from then on.
Cutaway footage to OLD MAN (a former fisherman) living in hut by waterfront on experience of living in Hong Kong under Japanese occupation.
OLD MAN: When the Japs came to this district, they would pass by right in front of here. I just wouldn't bow. They yelled at me, "Come here! Come here! Come here!" They then leaned over to slap me yelling "Why didn't you bow!" The Japs bowed like this. That's exactly what I didn't do.
RADIO ANGLE 3:
NAR: When the Sino-Japanese War ended in 1945, original residents of the Walled City and mainland Chinese immigrants flocked to the Walled City, making its population rise to 2,000. Three years later when the police attempted to demolish 30 houses, residents resisted against the police and appealed to the Government of Canton for help.
1987. Hong Kong Government announced that the Walled City of Kowloon would be demolished in 1992 for the purpose of building a new park there. The Chinese Government immediately declared thorough understanding and support for this move.
Cut to interview with LAW CHI WAI on politics of the demolition of the Walled City.
LAW: If not for political constraints, the Hong Kong Government could’ve cleared up this place for re-development long ago.
However, since it wasn’t within British jurisdiction, it couldn’t be demolished all these years until talks on the Sino-British Joint Declaration began, during which the Walled City of Kowloon became a prominent problem to tackle.
Perhaps in the course of the negotiation, the Chinese and British Governments came to a compromise on how to settle this issue.
As for why it was used to build a park and not to construct new buildings, I’m not so sure.
SCENE 15 - MAURICE on Rooftops and
Fire/Plane Flies over Kids on Roof
Aeroplane flies over rooftops as kids play on roof. MAURICE talks about children playing on the roof with shots of Walled City rooftops.
MAURICE: Since the Walled City was so densely populated with many buildings not built to reach safety standards, fire often broke out. Children loved it after a fire because it would not be rebuilt so soon, leaving more space for children's activities.
But we seldom had such opportunity to have the space to play. We’d sometimes climb up to the roof to fly kites and skip.
SCENE 16 - Dentist and Statistics
Cut to shot of chattering teeth on street, cop pulling out book and making notes.
NAR: In the 1960’s a metallic false tooth made in the Kowloon Walled City cost $11 but $20 outside.
In 1951, it cost $3 to have a tooth taken out in a dentist’s clinic in the Walled City.
As with abortion clinics and venereal disease clinics and other kinds of clinics, many unlicensed dentists operated openly in the Walled City, although their operations were completely illegal.
Cut to interviews with MR MOONCAKES and MAURICE on their formidable experiences with dentists in the Walled City.
MOONCAKES:There were over 100 dentist clinics in the Kowloon Walled City. Where I used to live, we had a clinic right next to us. Once I had a toothache, wondered what the heck it was, so I went to consult him. He said, "Hey man, your gums look a bit purple!". We were from the same neighborhood you see, so I trusted him. I asked him to pull it out for me, but he said there was no need, and just gave me some painkiller to take.
Cover footage of stills, and slides of ‘antique’ dentist items and interiors of dentist’s clinics.
MAURICE: I remember I was once suffering from toothache, so I went to consult a dentist for filling the cavity.
MOONCAKES:He said that I seemed to have a cavity, and gave me some painkiller, saying it’d be O.K. in two to three days.
NAR: The main source of work for dentists was shaping and refining dentures.
MAURICE: Not long after the consultation, my toothache came back. The filling had completely loosened. I think that although it was relatively cheap, it couldn’t guarantee the health of your teeth.
MOONCAKES:I’d consulted a dentist there only this one time. So I never had my teeth taken out. Just like that. I seldom visited the dentist because my teeth were very nice. I experienced toothache only once.
Cut to CU of chattering teeth.
NAR: In the early 70’s, a pound of sweets cost $5-8 in the Walled City. Click here for third part of the script