Vigeo Cannonball Run 2016: Xi'nan, Nanshan, Sankeng, Liuhe, Datang Running 96 km for the Northernmost Trip
In 2009, the director enjoyed an unforgettable self-driving tour in northwest Guangdong, China. He revisited the same sites with his college roommate in 2016, meditating on the ideas of people, places, and serendipity. Narrated in colloquial Cantonese, this personal road film operates on a topography of memories, reconstructing and retelling the travellers' youth as well as the hidden histories of the Pearl River Delta region.
Through processing a year of bewildering news and images from my home in Hong Kong, I've come to question the significance of dear memories and personal joy in the face of things falling apart. As the days teeter toward an uncertain future, Happy Valley cinematically probes the role of the so-called ‘little things’. A rendering of the perseverance of spirit in Hong Kong - an attempt at irony that can’t help but be emotional.
A storm was brewing in the early hours of 1 July 2019—the 22nd anniversary of the transfer of sovereignty over Hong Kong. Facing the absurdity of the Hong Kong Government's indoor flag-raising ceremony, protesters questioned the effectiveness of peaceful protest. They stormed the Legislative Council Complex as a last-ditch effort to ignite change in the Anti-ELAB Movement. Violent street clashes with the police continued deep into the night.
This is the eighth film in the documentary series, 47 KM. An 85-year-old man sits under MAO Zedong's portrait, recalling his revolutionary history in pursuit of the ‘New China’. A 15-year-old girl named FANG Hong wanders through the village with her paintbrush, knocking on the elders’ doors to paint their portraits. My camera follows FANG Hong; together we has built a window for the ‘47-km village’.
Two decades after the transfer of sovereignty over Hong Kong in 1997, the files concerning the Sino-British negotiations are finally declassified, revealing key information never known to Hongkongers. This film centres around four women volunteering for Decoding Hong Kong’s History, a project digitising records of the Handover from the British National Archives, and the women’s thoughts on identity, diaspora, and their home in troubled times.
West Estate spotlights the severe housing problems in Hong Kong, taking the spirit of resistance outside of the protest. The damaged walls in the cage-like tenements reflect the many forms of social injustice as well as Hongkongers’ widespread sense of rootlessness. Connecting three stories from different households like puzzle pieces, the film depicts people’s despair over issues of family, sexuality, love, and freedom.
This Anti-ELAB (Anti-Extradition Law Amendment Bill) Movement documentary short takes us back to the airport occupation on 12 August 2019. Although this new form of protest soon turned into a crisis, it became an important lesson for the protesters. Compared to the tension inside the airport terminal, the long walk home at sunset on the Lantau highway, which connects the Hong Kong International Airport to the residential areas, felt like a reminiscence of a school field trip.
The Anti-ELAB Movement came to a horrifying peak in mid-November at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. When protesters blocking the Cross-Harbour Tunnel retreated to the University, the police surrounded the area and put the school in a lockdown. Anxious citizens made various rescue attempts, but could barely go near the campus. Meanwhile, within those red brick walls, the camera captured the trapped protesters’ desperation and determination.
After his creative partner committed suicide a year ago, Gunmaker-Baoqiang, a Chinese indie rock singer throws his whole being into touring. At home, he worries about the education and future of his son; on the tour, he howls for freedom in an authoritarian state rife with communist ideologies—all the while under surveillance by the authorities. In a restricting and suffocating world, where can an idealist call his home?