Hong Kong’s Controversial Documentary ‘Revolution Of Our Times’ Opens Strongly In Taiwan | News


Kiwi Chow’s Revolution of our timethe controversial documentary about the Hong Kong protests which received a surprise premiere at Cannes last July, scored box office success in Taiwan – the first territory to grant wide release to the film.

Opened on February 25 via VDirect International, the feature film crossed the $530,000 (NT$15 million) mark on March 7 at the Taiwanese box office. For comparison, this year’s Chinese New Year box office champion My best friend’s breakfast has grossed $2.4 million (NT$68 million) since January 28.

Revolution of our timewhich takes its title from a pro-democracy protest slogan, became the highest-grossing non-Taiwanese Chinese-language documentary on its eighth day of release.

It first opened in 37 theaters, considered a major island-wide release for a documentary, and ranked third after Japanese animation. Jujutsu Kaisen 0 and Hollywood action feature Unexplored. Due to its large opening, six more theaters were added in its second weekend, which coincided with the release of The Batman.

The film, which won Best Documentary at Taiwan’s Golden Horse Awards, chronicles the popular uprising in Hong Kong that began in mid-2019 and the government’s crackdown on the movement.

Taiwan‘s Ministry of Culture, government officials and influencers took to social media to spread the film by word of mouth. Shortly before its release, YouTube removed the film’s official channel from its platform after receiving a large number of malicious reports, but it was reinstated following an appeal.

The film’s title comes from a ubiquitous eight-character Chinese slogan – “liberate Hong Kong, the revolution of our times” – which was widely chanted during the 2019 protests. The slogan has since been ruled illegal by the High Court of Hong Kong under the National Security Law, which came into force in June 2020.

Given its sensitive nature, the film remains an anonymous collective work, of which Chow is only identified as the director, and is unlikely to receive an official screening in Hong Kong.

After a series of public screenings hosted by individuals in key cities across the US and Canada, and set to screen at the Hong Kong Film Festival in the UK on March 19, the film is slated for further releases. international screenings from April 1 to 10. These are organized through a campaign, which invites individuals and organizations around the world to send screening requests to a dedicated email address associated with the film.

Chow said Screen daily that April 1 is a commemorative date for him. It was on this day in 2016 when free community screenings of dystopian anthology Ten years took place in 34 public places in Hong Kong, after being forced to withdraw from cinemas. Chow directed the segment Self-immolator and the anthology won Best Film at the Hong Kong Film Awards.

More Protest-Related Releases

Two other films whose release in Hong Kong is also unlikely due to the new national security law have also found screening opportunities in Taiwan: Clara Law’s Drifting Petals and May you stay forever young by Rex Ren and Lam Sam.

Drifting Petals also tackles Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement in 2019 and is screened in Taiwan as part of a retrospective that pays tribute to Hong Kong director Law, based in Australia.

Filmed in Australia, Hong Kong and Macau, the feature is part memoir and part fiction and was self-financed on a modest budget with a five-member production team, including Law’s longtime writer-producer partner, Eddie Fong.

It premiered at the Sydney Film Festival in November 2021 before winning Best Director at the Golden Horse Awards, and received its European premiere at the Rotterdam Virtual International Film Festival in January.

Besides, May you stay forever young is set to receive a theatrical release in over 20 theaters on April 8 through local distributor Light Year Images.

The film centers on a group of protesters who rush to track down a young member of their group who has threatened to kill himself. It won the Netpac Award at the Golden Horse Awards, where it was also nominated for Best New Director and Best Editing.


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