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Life Without Principle (Dyut meng gam)—Boston Release!

Directed by Johnnie To with Denise Ho, Lau Ching Wan, Richie Ren


2011, Hong Kong The latest from Hong Kong maestro Johnnie To (best known in the West for his action and crime movies such as Exiled, Vengeance) resembles the acclaimed auteur’s 2005 film Election; the subtext of social issues in that film are brought to the foreground in Life Without Principle’s “jigsaw-like web of ethical actions” (Daniel Kasman, MUBI Notebook) depicting the state of Hong Kong society in the wake of the global financial meltdown. An ordinary bank teller turned financial analyst, an obliging gangster and a straight-arrow police inspector, all in dire need of money, are connected through a crime involving several million dollars. The film's “ambitious narrative folds back on itself without warning… To so confident in his movement through scenes that even PowerPoint presentations and computer screens sustain the story's velocity" (Kevin B Lee, Fandor).

“No one has as complex, and as clear and uncluttered, an urban vision as To, and this film is no exception: inner-city chrome and commercialized carp have rarely looked so sleek… Clearly contemptuous of capitalism’s emotionless and ever-gnashing maw, Life Without Principle… is riveting entertainment, particularly as much of it turns on the exchange of banal banking palaver about “financial instruments” and “risk assessment,” with only the occasional To tornado of skullcracking mayhem slivered throughout the movie’s shifting-mosaic time structure.” – Chuck Stephens, Film Comment

Life Without Principle

Life Without Principle

Life Without Principle

March 16 @ 9pm

March 17 @ 7pm

March 17 @ 9pm

March 18 @ 2pm

Bright Family Screening Room



$10. $7.50 for Members and Seniors. $5 for Students. Emerson Students Free.



Running Time:

107 minutes


Color, 35mm—Boston Release!
In Cantonese with English subtitles