“Jackie Chan in Shinjuku Incident is the film that has probably taken me the longest time from the germination of an idea to the completion of a film, but it’s more because the research was so fascinating and the story was evolving all the time.
“I first came across the story of Chinese migrants in Japan back in 1997 or 1998 when I read a report in a regional news magazine. The notion of the Chinese diaspora forming their own pockets of communities in places they migrate to was not something new, but unlike other more open societies, Japan was always a tough place to gather roots because they were so unaccepting of migrants.
“Very little was known of these communities that sprang up in Japan because they were illegal and stayed very much underground and I wanted to present a Chinese viewpoint of life within these communities. It’s not a real story, of course, but an adaptation of what my research revealed.
“One of the things that struck me when I was researching for the script was how little human nature has changed – or indeed will ever change – through the years. People have always moved to where the money was or the economy was booming. We’re not just talking about the Chinese but the Europeans as well. And, when these migrants settle in and are oppressed, these societies survive by uniting and evolving into organizations.
“I think audiences will take away different things from Jackie Chan in Shinjuku Incident. All our own personal experiences will find a resonating chord or two in the story that unfolds in the movie.
“The strongest realization I have gained from the movie is that no matter how much technological advances we have made in 3,000 years, our behavior has really remained intrinsically the same.”