Finding Bliss: Fire and Ice - The Directors’ Cut


Finding Bliss: Fire and Ice – The Directors’ Cut
尋找極致的喜悅:火與冰 (Chahm jaau gihk ji dik hei yuht: fo yuh bing)

Hong Kong, 2022, 96’, Cantonese, English, Icelandic
Directed by: Kim Chan, Dee Lam
Editing: Kim Chan
Producers: Josie Ho, Conroy Chan, Cub Chien, Chan Pang-chun, Andrew Ooi
Cast: Josie Ho, Jim Chim, MC Yan, Dee Lam, Don Cruz, Kei Zhai, Jimmy Mak, Cheung Yee-sik, Jan Lo, Jason Kui, Yvonne Wan, Zhou Weijie, Jacky Kan
Music Composer: Marco Iannelli

Date of First Release in Territory: TBA

In early 2018, Hong Kong actress and singer Josie Ho announced a novel project: she, along with most of her bandmates plus extra musicians and three students, would jet off to Iceland to explore the nature of happiness. Back then Hong Kong was languishing in 76th place in the UN-backed World Happiness Report – a dismal showing for the city, where flashy finance-hub scenes contrast with harsh realities for many of the citizens. With Hongkongers facing a tinder box of stress and frustration in social issues, property prices, work and more, and young people increasingly hopeless about their future, Ho sought to examine how another population finds joy (Iceland’s 2018 World Happiness Report ranking: 4) and bring new perspectives back to Hong Kong. 
Finding Bliss: Fire and Ice first introduces its audience to those joining Ho in the exercise: among them there’s the bassist and three guitarists from Josie Ho and the Uni Boys, Hong Kong rapper and graffiti artist MC Yan, guitarist and BMXer Jimmy Mak, singer and sound technician Jan Lo, and drummer and sound engineer Cheung Yee-sik. And on hand in Iceland to give them all a substantial push is Hong Kong comedian and actor Jim Chim, the project’s creative director. On their arrival, Chim, a proponent of the Philippe Gaulier school of theatre teaching, guides his dozen students through a four-day set of workshops built on buffoonery, gibberish and games. One by one, the dozen participants make breakthroughs, whether in dropping their defences to enjoy stupidity or learning how to find relief in making mistakes.
As the workshops unfold, viewers see people opening up, building rapport, gaining courage to play and learning to not fear failure. Directors Kim Chan and Dee Lam (the latter, a guitarist in Ho's band, doubles as one of the participants) spotlight the personal advances, whether in workshop footage or little interludes, like when student Yvonne Wan cuts loose and sings on the street. Cultural exchanges happen too. Local drama students join one workshop, there’s a chat in an impressive record store, and Icelandic musicians point out what's dear to them and shed light on the deep support and collaboration within their music community. The climax is a so-called jam session, in which the Hongkongers team up with locals to perform a rock mashup of the Once Upon a Time in China theme and an Icelandic folk song.
An early version of Finding Bliss: Fire and Ice screened in Hong Kong in September 2019, and the documentary is now making its premiere in the directors’ cut in a very different world from that of the film's inception. In Hong Kong, political and social issues have festered since massive protests erupted in mid-2019, and an associated emigration wave since mid-2020 has seen many, particularly young families, head for the exit. And then there’s the immense disruption of the pandemic and its additional mental toll. The local stresses Ho and her collaborators identify in Finding Bliss have only intensified, and now the project's aims look even more timely. For Hongkongers these days, explorations on finding happiness, protecting mental health and nurturing support are more important than ever.

Kim Chan

Kim Chan is a Hong Kong multimedia director. In the past decade his projects have ranged from animation and commercials for TV to promotional videos and pop concerts. Chan served as cinematographer for The Heavenly Kings (2006) and became a feature director with the documentary Finding Bliss: Fire and Ice.


2022 – Finding Bliss: Fire and Ice – The Directors’ Cut (co-director)

Dee Lam

Dee Lam is active in Hong Kong’s commercial video, design, fashion and music video industries. He has worked for advertising agencies and design workshops, started his directing career in 2013, and later established his own creative studios. He made his feature-directing debut with the documentary Finding Bliss: Fire and Ice.

2022 – Finding Bliss: Fire and Ice – The Directors’ Cut (co-director)

Tim Youngs
Film director: Kim CHAN, Dee LAM
Year: 2022
Running time: 96'
Country: Hong Kong
23/04 - 11:15 AM
Teatro Nuovo Giovanni da Udine
23-04-2022 11:15 23-04-2022 12:51Europe/Rome Finding Bliss: Fire and Ice - The Directors’ Cut Far East Film Festival Teatro Nuovo Giovanni da UdineCEC Udine
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