Rebecca McLaughlin-Duane | July 7, 2013
As Hong Kong grapples with its identity 16 years after returning to Chinese rule, frustration on the streets and nostalgia for the past is providing plenty of inspiration for the city’s filmmakers.
Emotions in the former British colony are running high. Tens of thousands of people marched on the July 1 handover anniversary to demand universal suffrage amid concerns Beijing is increasingly meddling in Hong Kong’s affairs.
Polls have shown residents see themselves as “Hongkongers” rather than “Chinese”, while the use by protesters of old colonial flags has raised eyebrows in the city and tempers north of the border in mainland China.
“The relationship we have with China always affects the mood of Hong Kong,” film director Flora Lau told AFP.
“We are a city which has a very distinct identity, and some of the people here feel that this identity has slipped away. On the other hand, we have new immigrants who think of Hong Kong as a place of dreams.”
Lau’s first feature film “Bends” was the only production from Hong Kong to be selected in competition at the prestigious Cannes International Film Festival in May.
“To me, Hong Kong is filled with duality and I am interested in portraying the city, which represents a sense of deterioration for some, and yet a sense of hope for others,” said Lau.