Film depicting China’s shadow over Hong Kong wins Best Asian Film award

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A Hong Kong film depicting a dystopian future under the Communist Party of China won one of the biggest awards in Asian cinema on Sunday as Beijing’s attempts to curb the city’s democratic development have fueled political tensions increasing.

“Ten Years”, a feature film made up of five short vignettes illustrating a dark vision of the city in 2025 is a surprise success. It strikes a chord nearly 16 months after tens of thousands of roads blocked across the city as part of the “Occupy Central” civil disobedience movement to demand that the Chinese leadership allow full democracy in 2017.

The low-budget independent film fended off the competition for commercial hits like the martial arts flick Ip Man 3.

“Ten years have revealed the fear of Hong Kong people (towards China),” said Chow Kwun-wai, one of five directors who worked there after winning the best film award at the Hong Kong Film Awards. cinematic excellence in Asia.

“Ten Years has also provided us and Hong Kong people with a chance to show that we are not afraid. “

After the awards, a few Chinese media portals, including Tencent and Sina, omitted any mention of the film as a Best Picture winner while reporting on the evening’s other results.

Hong Kongers, who transitioned from British rule to Chinese rule in 1997, have flocked to cinemas and outdoor screenings in recent months to watch the controversial film.

Scenes include those of an old woman bursting into flames outside the British Consulate in Hong Kong and children from Hong Kong dressed in military uniforms watching over adults in scenes echoing the children of the Red Guards of the Heavy Cultural Revolution in 1966-76 in China.

Few, including the film’s directors, expected him to win, given his political nuances and dystopian outlook.

The Chinese state-controlled Global Times denounced the film in a January editorial as absurd and pessimistic and called it a “thought virus.”

Shortly after, screenings of the film stopped in cinemas in Hong Kong. Cinema exhibitors told filmmakers they could no longer show it due to programming issues.

“People in the film industry awarded Ten Years the Best Picture award to express their position. It’s the thing that touched me the most, ”added Chow.

The scenes, although fictitious, highlight the simmering tension between mainland China and Hong Kong, which has resulted in a recent riot and growing calls from below by sweeping protests for greater autonomy and even independence from it. China screw.

In accordance with COVID-19 guidelines, the government is urging residents and visitors to exercise caution if they choose to visit bars, restaurants, concert halls and other public spaces.

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