Cageman is a focused social critique of a uniquely Hong Kong phenomenon: in this city with the world's most unequal wealth and income gap, many unfortunate middle-aged men can't afford the most basic lodging, and live in low-rent cages inside squalid tenements. Cageman is a microcosm of Hong Kong, where most citizens must live squeezed into incredibly dense neighbourhoods, prey to monopolistic 'tycoons' – the (Chinese government-supporting) land-owning billionaire class – while nevertheless enjoying a way of life that, despite its frictions, forges a uniquely communal, indomitable 'spirit of Lion Rock'.
Cageman is a critique of Hong Kong's sham politics, where grassroots organizing along anarchistic, communitarian principles outshines anti-democratic local politicians. Cageman is also brilliant filmmaking and writing: Jacob Cheung's dazzlingly complex long takes interweave beautifully crafted performances by some of the HK film industry's finest veterans: Ray Chow, Teddy Robin, Gu Feng, Lau Shun.
Cageman is a masterpiece.