Johnnie To's 'Life Without Principle' Added to Venice Film Fest Competition

23 films will be in the running for the festival’s Golden Lion prize.



LOCARNO, Switzerland – Dyut Ming Gam (Life Without Principle), the latest film from Johnnie To, has been added to the competition lineup at the Venice Film Festival, officials announced Tuesday.

Most of the competition lineup was announced in July, and a surprise film is still expected to be unveiled during the festival itself. All told, 23 films will be in the running for the festival’s prestigious Golden Lion prize.

Life Without Principle, which tells the story of three characters: a bank teller turned financial analyst who is forced into an aggressive sales strategy to meet company targets, a small-time thug forced to take unexpected risks in order to post nail for a friend, and an honest cop who suddenly becomes desperate for money after his wife agreed to purchase a luxury apartment. The group who share a desperate need for money are linked when a bag with $5 million in stolen money appears.

“This is a turbulent world, and in order to survive people have no choice but to play the game,” To said about the film in a statement released by the festival. “No matter how hard you try to follow the rules, sooner or later, a part of you will be lost.”

To produced and directed the film, which stars Lau Ching Wan, Richie Jen, Denise Ho, and Terence Yin.

Life Without Principle is To’s fourth film to screen in Venice, following on the heels of The Mad Detective from 2007, Exiled a year earlier, and Throw Down from 2004.

The year’s edition of the festival runs August 31-Sept. 10.