Twice a week in Hong Kong, an unlikely group of men gather to play football. They call themselves the Dawn Team, for all of the players have lived through some pretty dark times. Beyond a love for the beautiful game, the one thing that unites these people is the fact that they all know what it is like to be homeless.
There is Ah Hung, a former gang member trying to turn over a new leaf.
Ah Lung who dropped out of college when his mother died and through a series of bad mistakes ended up on the streets. Young, smart and handsome, Ah Lung doesn’t look like he should be on the team.
Loud, boisterous Chor Pat who gambled his life away. At 54, time is no longer on Chor Pat’s side. He is looking for a final chance to make amends and convince his wife and kids to take him back.
David, who has never been homeless. Who joined the team only because he is lonely.
And countless others – recovering drug addicts, struggling alcoholics, ex-offenders – this football team sees it all. Their Hong Kong is a world away from the glitz and glamour the city is better known for. It is grim, mired in poverty, a place of constant struggle.
Yet there is also hope. The Dawn Team is training to take part in the Homeless World Cup in Cape Town. Only eight players can go, and secretly, everyone wants to be chosen. For the ones who eventually make it, the journey to South Africa is at once magical and sobering. It is a chance to see the world outside Hong Kong, to meet other homeless people, and to re-assess their own lives.
Homeless FC follows the Dawn Team through one tumultuous year. It is a year in which a glimmer of hope touches the men’s lives, fights erupt, new relationships take hold, and a few dreams appear to come true. Shocking, intimate and immediate, this film enters the world of people who have fallen through the cracks. A fragile, fragile world, where life is always a challenge.
Winner, Grand Prize, Chinese Documentary Festival 2008.
Special Mention for Editing, Cineodeon 2008.
Nominee, Humanitarian Award for Documentaries, Hong Kong International Film Festival 2007.
“The warmth that radiates from their films is due to the long-lasting relationships built with their subjects.” – Clarence Tsui, South China Morning Post
“… a genuine crowd pleaser in the best sense of the word.” Vancouver International Film Festival 2007
“… an astounding reality tale of lasting impact” Asian Hot Shots Berlin 2009
“No doubt outstanding.” Jury, Chinese Documentary Festival 2008
“Luminous” Jeremy Sing, SINdie
“Touching viewing” Hong Kong Standard
“… wonderful, profoundly moving” Westender.com