憂鬱之島Directed by Chan Tze Woon
Cast: Anson Sham, Keith Fong Chung-yin, Kelvin Tam Kwan-long, Siu Ying
Best International Documentary, 2022 Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival
Official Selection, 2022 International Film Festival Rotterdam
Visionary Award and Audience Award, 2022 Taiwan International Documentary Film Festival
In 2019 and 2020, historic numbers of Hong Kong people took to the streets to protest Beijing’s betrayal of their rights to self-sovereignty. Documentarians have been amongst those on the ground, capturing these brave assertions of independence. Few of these documentaries have used the medium to challenge easy histories of freedom as powerfully as BLUE ISLAND.
Cleverly tying the current situation to past eras of protest against colonialism and authoritarianism, filmmaker Chan Tze Woon enlists today’s student activists in re-enactments of their parents’ and grandparents’ struggles, inviting a cinematic cross-generational dialogue on the attainability of freedom and the complexity of identity in a city passed between colonizers.
From the Cultural Revolution to Tiananmen Square, the Umbrella Movement to today, Chan weaves a deft hybrid tapestry that highlights continuity and uncanny reverberations across histories of struggle. In the filmmaker’s own words: “This is a story about those generations who have contemplated the nature of Hong Kong and their identities as Hongkongers, but who are depressed by their inability to shape the city’s fate. This kind of disillusionment is a universal tether that binds all of us together.”
Co-Presented by Hong Kongers in San Diego.