CRUX shows how one man overcame a tragic accident to reach new heights. Bringing to the screen a stirring story of triumph over adversity. Imagine being at the top of your sport as an international champion, and then having it all taken away in a terrible accident. This happened to Hong Kong champion rockclimber Lai Chi-wai, whose career was cruelly cut short when he was paralysed in a car crash in 2011.
It left Lai in a wheelchair but he would not let the injury defeat him. In 2016, for the fifth anniversary of the fateful accident, he planned to climb Hong Kong’s famous Lion Rock in his wheelchair.
CRUX tells the story of this amazing feat, where Lai summoned all the strength and courage that made him a world-class climber. Hear interviews with the people that know him best – his friends, family and fellow climbers, and the doctors who helped him on the way back from tragedy.
Approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes
Dialogues in Cantonese with Chinese and English subtitles
Approx 1 hr 30 mins
Dialogues in Cantonese, with Audio Description in Chinese, Chinese and English subtitles
Now confined to a wheelchair, Lai was resolved not to allow his disability to dictate what he could do with his life. On the fifth anniversary of the accident, he vowed to haul himself and his wheelchair to the top of Hong Kong’s Lion Rock Mountain, using only his arm strength.
The film documents this herculean feat, offering a reflection on the nature of adversity. Physical disability need not limit us in the ways we often believe they do and the power of transformation is innate in humans, Lai’s courage being testament to it. His experience shows that, with perseverance and dedication, it is always possible for people to triumph over adversities.
The film is titled CRUX, meaning “connection” or “knot”, after the name Lai gave his mission to climb the emblematic mountain. The Chinese character “結” is often associated with the notion of crux: unity, the binding of relationships, connections and feelings of melancholy. “Crux” is also a term that describes the most challenging point in climbing and mountaineering.
Director and Producer
Formerly a magazine art director, Hong Kong filmmaker Bernard Ho has a strong passion for the arts and sport. In 2015, he independently produced S47, a short documentary about ultra-endurance racing, which premiered in Hong Kong on January 2016. It was the only Hong Kong film selected for screening at the Banff China Sunshine Running Film Festival. Subsequently screened in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Guangzhou, the film was hailed as a “popular and controversial movie”. In 2017, Ho independently directed, produced and edited his first feature-length documentary, CRUX, about Lai Chi-wai, a former champion rock climber from Hong Kong, now confined to a wheelchair after a car crash.
A former Hong Kong elite athlete, Lai Chi-wai is a fourtime winner of the Asian Rock Climbing Championships and the first Hongkonger to rank eighth in the world. In 2011, at the age of 28, a traffic accident left him paraplegic. But Lai was unbowed by the ordeal. He summoned the strength and perseverance that had made him a professional athlete to help him negotiate his darkest days. He started working again as a rockclimbing coach, and has related his life experience to encourage others. For all this, he was named one of Hong Kong’s Ten Outstanding Young Persons in 2014.
On the fifth anniversary of the fateful accident, Lai used his bare hands to climb to the top of Lion Rock in his wheelchair. This act untied the “knot” in his heart. The entire process was recorded in a documentary, CRUX, and later a feature film, Lion Rock, starring Alex Lam as Lai.
His extraordinary feat of climbing Lion Rock in the wheelchair made Lai the first Chinese athlete to be nominated for the Laureus World’s Best Sporting Moment award, where he featured alongside stars such as tennis greats Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
- Director and Producer
- Bernard Ho
- Executive Producer
- Ringo Tang
- Lai Chi-wai
- Produced by
- Zentral Production
- Coordinated by
- Major production sponsor of the documentary CRUX:
- Legend Charity Foundation
- With thanks to all volunteers who participated in CRUX
- Wong Wai-kin
Dr. Carina Li
Cindy Lau Shuet-fong
- Camera Team
- Bernard Ho
Karl Eros Ng
Mac Chau Wai-shing
Tat Tat Ho
Irene Chong Wai-oi
Eddie Yung Chi-kit
Get to know the artists and the creative ideas behind the works through exclusive interviews.
Speakers: Bernard Ho (Director and Producer), Lai Chi-wai (Featuring)
Conducted in Cantonese with Chinese and English subtitles
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