Synopsis by Rebecca Flint Marx
Fruit Chan's second feature of 2000 takes its title from the durian, a fruit whose large, ungainly exterior and delicious taste serve as a metaphor for the film's Hong Kong setting. Yan (Qin Hailu) and Fan (Mak Wai Fan) are neighbors in Hong Kong's Mong Kok district. Yan is a 21-year-old prostitute who works for a pimp and spends her off-hours watching TV in her miniscule apartment or hanging out with other prostitutes at a local cafe. She has come to Hong Kong from mainland China to make money and on her more profitable days services nearly 40 men. Fan, on the other hand, is just a child; like Yan, she is from the mainland and has moved to Hong Kong illegally, but she has come with her family so her disabled father can more easily make a living. Fan spends her days washing dishes with her mother in a restaurant, but she witnesses Yan's activities and the two eventually become friends. Midway through the film, Yan's permit expires and she returns to her home in the cold north. After cutting off her hair, she divorces her husband and thinks about returning to Hong Kong with her savings.