Sunday, 6 October
Hong Kong films
As the struggle in Hong Kong goes on we’re going to watch some political and a-bit-less-political films from there, all filmed since the handover from Britain to China. We can also chat after the films about the current situation, the powerful solidarity being displayed by very different parts of society, the complex political demands, and the interesting wave of tactics over the recent years.
The first film in Joe on the 6th will be the most recent. Inspired by real-life criminal gangs in Hong Kong who recruit schoolkids to smuggle mobile phones into mainland China. It’s a gentle film that gets under your skin, capturing the impulsiveness and impatience of teenagers. As the smuggling and gang story continues we’re in ‘got in too deep’ territory, but it’s the strong and nuanced characters, complex motivations, and empathy that grabs the viewer.
Our next film, on the 11th is the oldest, made directly after the handover. Again we meet youth and petty crime, but this time a quite different location and style. Set in the high density poor subsidised housing projects it was shot in true guerrilla style, using spare pieces of film from other movies, with five crew members loaning money for the equipment and only two months of production. This low budget film portrays, realistically, the lives of delinquents and small time triad members. The film is soon swamped in a permeating nihilism which induces it with a punk essence that seems to fit its visual style to perfection. It is sometimes regarded as a response to the 1997 Hong Kong handover, the directer feels that it can also be viewed as a character-driven drama that reflects the lifestyle of many young Hong Kong people at the time.
At Joe again on the 13th we'll watch a documentary that follows the controversial radical localist (nationalist) Edward Leung Tin-kei activist and politician, starting with his campaign to win a seat on Hong Kong’s Legislative Council. Things didn’t go according to the script when Leung was barred from the election because of his advocacy of independence. This intimate portrayal continues with the director trailing him, camera in hand, going as far as Boston in the United States when he left Hong Kong for a respite from the furore over localism, the HK right-wing movement heavily associated with recent protests. Surely a film that will spark some discussion over the different political threads of the recent protests, we can recommend http://chuangcn.org/blog/ and https://lausan.hk/ if you want to do a bit of reading.
On the 25th we'll be at the Budapest and the film we’ll watch was made almost five years ago. Five directors were asked to make a film about how Hong Kong would be in 2025. Independent filmmaking with this degree of inflamatory content is unheard of in Hong Kong, and it did cause quite a stir particularly among the more political conscious and restless members of Hong Kong society, due to the often disturbing visions that its makers have offered up.
Open 20:00 | Film 20:30
Date & Time:
- Hong Kong