Items of a Dream: A Tale of Playing

When Phillip Wong died via suicide, his circle of relatives idea that silence would finish their ache. However his sister, filmmaker Michelle Wong, had to make sense of her brother’s dying. What drove him to finish his existence at age 36?

Weaving in combination intimate conversations with the ones closest to Phillip, in addition to her personal candid reflections, Wong embarks on a non-public adventure. Gently peeling away layers of silence, she uncovers her brother’s tale of playing habit and his lonely spiral into desperation, isolation and melancholy.

Directed via Michelle Wong – 2003 | 49 min

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34 Replies to “Items of a Dream: A Tale of Playing”

  1. Its very hard to feel empathy for a guy who shot someone. Sorry but I am a non violent person. I would never use weapons or lethal force to anyone. For me its a unforgiveable sin to use lethal force in civillian setting. However with that being said I feel empathy for the innocent family members. I hope his sister got closure from this documentary. You know what lesson is? Its up to each of us to reach our goals in life.

  2. I know a guy who was a piece of shit baccarat addict. He borrowe dmoney to gamble so I had to take his MACBOOK brand new one off him. THAN he stole money off his grand parents 10k THAN his grandpa died. Think about that for a second. THE LAST memory ur grandpa had of u was ur a piece of shit who forged a cheque. UGH the guy is a scum bag. U know what GAMBLE within REASON. bet small to win big. BUT if u cant pay ur rent or car payment r cant pay shit all than ** *** ur life. Like this dude was a sad story

  3. How sad im sorry for what happend. To the brother gambling is very strong adiction. Gambling is a denial issue lies stories excusies none acepting reallyty im adicted to gambling is so hard to control a habit i know i had to stop but is really hard

  4. Ah man, I wish I had seen this years ago, before it was too late. It's really a wonderful tribute, very kind and compassionate.

  5. please be assured that i prayed for you and your family. i felt the pain because i was once a compulsive gambler. you are a great sister. GB.

  6. Hi guys, I've recorded a podcast about my gambling addiction during my twenties. I don’t want to write too much about the podcast, other than to warn you it gets very emotional and intense at times. It’s aimed at men in particular, as statistically we are more likely to become problem gamblers. I hope it helps someone out there.

  7. Gambling breaks family apart. My mom is a gambling addict and pushed my Dad into gambling. Now, they are both addicted to gambling. They would rather take their money that they worked hard for to bring to the casino than paying their medical bills. They even ask my sister and I to borrow them $3000 each so they could pay for my mom’s dental bills. I just have a feeling that it will just go straight to the casino and we are just feeding them their addiction, like giving them alcohol when they are already addicted to alcohol. My parents’ income is higher than mine, and still they complain that they are still poor.

  8. That you Michelle Wong for making and sharing the story of your brother. At this very moment I am writing a book about pathological gambling. My own gambling problem is the starting point in my book; I also worked about 8 years in the gambling business. This documentary really touched me…

  9. My family comes from at least 3 generations of gambling addicts. My grandfather played $100 a week on the lottery and never won more than $3k on a single ticket (the amount he blows in 7 months). My father played on my grandfather's money in AC. He pulled himself away from the action when ahead and narrowly avoided losing control. My family was always concerned I'd lose control, but I proved them wrong and became a successful card counter.

  10. Don't gamble people! It ruins your life and destroy it! Yesterday I felt it for the last time!!! I promised to myself never again!!! Otherwise my fate will be the same as the person in the video! Oh God!!! Unfortunately the pity thing is that after such a tragedy the people who has been involved then become more closer and united…. So the lesson is to value the people when they are sill here and alive and to help them when they are struggling with something! Be better people between each other before everything is too late!!!

  11. I am so sorry for your Loss. Thank you for sharing your story. It helps spread the word of the seriousness of a gambling addiction.

  12. God Bless your Family!   Thank you for your truthful and straight-forward story! Thank you for sharing it!  I'm going to cut up my debit card which is my ticket to gambling!  It has affected my life for the past 20 years.

  13. This is a very well done documentary. I have compulsive gamblinig addiction that started very innocently. I first played the slots in my late 40's after 2 years of just going out for the buffet dinner at a local casino. Then this changed rapidly…I got addicted…after playing them about 15-20 times in a year…that's it. I wish I had known that the slots are DESIGNED to addict everyone. I knew a person could get addicted to anything…but I quit smoking years ago and…again….I had no idea how potent these machines are. They do the same thing as crack cocaine (according to brain imaging studies). IF someone asked me to do coke…I'd say NO!…because I was informed of how highly addictive it is. I WISH that there was a warning about slots….but it's too late…I have lost all of my life savings….and almost all of my home. I came to this documentary to find something to encourage me to NOT lose that little bit I have left when I sell my place to pay off the gambling debt. I cannot make that money back as I am disabled now….so I have thought about suicide. So I want to thank Michelle for making this because it's going to help me to quit gambling and just live hand to mouth while I hope my damaged brain heals. With much gratitude!

  14. what a great documentary that gives love and respect to the departed. Phil would be proud. I'm sure people who pass by taking their own lives wish deeply to be loved and understood and you are doing that by this documentary. THank you

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