Surveillance (Mai Fu/埋伏) is a 1997 crime thriller that was filmed in Qingdao. The movie is referred to in English as Surveillance although 埋伏 can be translated as “Ambush”.

One viewer gave the following mixed review of Mai Fu on IMDB:

It’s superficially a nice story, but “Surveillance” doesn’t really show (director) Huang Jianxin at his best. It falls awkwardly between his two unique styles – the overt political symbolism and criticism of his early movies, and the sardonic warmth of his later movies – and ends up being a rather flat movie which doesn’t genuinely engage the audience. Huang’s wonderful eye for detail sets him above his Chinese contemporaries in almost all his movies: there are some really enjoyable scenes here, but neither the social observation nor the plot are really enough to sustain a whole film.

The police station in the movie is actually the old Qingdao City Hall (at the 7.30 minute mark) built during German colonial times. There are scenes in areas that were later re-developed, such as the Beihai Shipyards (at the 23.00 minute mark). The site became the Qingdao Olympic Sailing Center after the shipyards moved to Huangdao to make way for 2008.

Watch Surveillance on Youku (Mandarin with Chinese subtitles).

Relevant Links:
Surveillance on VeryCD
Qingdao City Hall Building

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