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  • Writer's picturePeter K F Cheung SBS

Alternative Home Coming

  1. FADE IN.

  2. Act 1


  4. Surfing the web, PETER makes a call and then ends it.

  5. PETER (V.O.): Not sure if the High Court Library has reopened. If it's open, I'm not sure if it'd close during lunch time.

  6. Pausing.

  7. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I want to do some research before attending a meeting at

  8. At 11:00 Peter leaves home.

  9. EXT. HIGHT COURT, G/F - 12:00

  10. '

  11. Arriving, a STAFF gestures Peter to take the escalators to a High Block. Peter looks excited.

  12. PETER (V.O.): The High Court Library has moved to where I used to work back in the late 1980s.

  13. Peter takes the stacks of escalators up.

  14. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): From 1986-1991, I took these escalators on work days.

  15. Act 2

  16. INT. GOVERNMENT OFFICES, 1/F - 12:10

  17. Stepping out of a lift, Peter sees the High Court Library sign on the wall.

  18. PETER (V.O.): In 1988, I'd turn left to go to my office. The library of the Attorney General's Chambers was on the right hand side.

  19. Pausing.

  20. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Now, it's the new High Court Library.

  21. Having taken a photo at the entrance, Peter passes the barrier gate with a smart card.

  22. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): If I'm not a lawyer, I won't the able to use the facilities here.

  23. Peter talks to a STAFF.

  24. PETER: Do you close during lunch time?

  25. STAFF: No.

  26. PETER (V.O.): Good, I don't have to hurry then.

  27. Seeing the new mobile bookshelves, Peter looks astonished.



  30. Quiet. Peter in suit is only library user. He checks the books in fixed bookshelves.

  31. PETER (V.O.): Having completed my 1-year study leave. I'm reporting duty today. But no one is free to see me.


  33. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): That day, the Hong Kong stock market crashed.

  34. Peter arrives at the old edition sections.

  35. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): These're some of the books, digests, journals and reports that I used to read decades ago.

  36. Peter grabs some to skim through them.

  37. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Yes, I used to read Halsbury's Laws of England. There weren't any Halsbury Laws of Hong Kong then.

  38. Sitting in a corner, Peter reads periodicals.

  39. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): While working, I didn't have time to read them. Now, working in retirement, I can read some of them.

  40. Having read a few articles, Peter checks the time and leaves.

  41. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): When I quit the Attorney General's Chambers in late 1991, the main thing I missed was the library. Now, I can come as often as I like.


  43. Arriving, Peter grabs a packet of crackers to eat.

  44. PETER (V.O.): Although I haven't had lunch, I've discovered that I still passionate about learning the law.

  45. A COLLEAGUE sitting next to Peter remarks.

  46. COLLEAGUE: Peter, you've to treat yourself better.

  47. The CHAIR then makes his opening remarks.


  49. Sitting area. Peter has just finished discussing with a PROFESSOR.

  50. PETER (V.O.): He's a PhD in Maths (Harvard). I want to seek his views on Non-Fungible Tokens (NFT). I'm investigating if ordinary people can monetize their intellectual property (IP) via NFT.

  51. Later, Chair comes to chat with Peter.

  52. CHAIR: Peter, we can't retire...a counsel aged 84 is still working...

  53. PETER: True, we've status wealth...

  54. INT. MTR CABIN - 18:30

  55. Crowded. A young MAN offers his seat to Peter, Peter politely declines.

  56. Act 3


  58. Lying on a sofa, Peter is watching TV, breaking a story about Afghanistan: An Endless War.

  59. PETER (V.O.): The Law of War used to be a component of international law. I saw volumes of it in old libraries. When war has been outlawed, there's Law of Peace.

  60. Pausing.

  61. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): But for the latter part of 2019, Hongkongers have been enjoying peace. And there's no place like home.

  62. Pausing.

  63. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Returning to the very floor where I used to work and research is like an alternative home coming to me.

  64. FADE OUT.

  65. THE END

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