'Revolution of Our Times' Global Release, First Hong Kong Film Festival in Paris to Open June 23

'Revolution of Our Times' Global Release, First Hong Kong Film Festival in Paris to Open June 23
Protesters chant slogans during a rally against the new National Security Law in Hong Kong on July 1, 2020, on the 23rd anniversary of the city's handover from Britain to China. Hong Kong police made the first arrests under Beijing's new law on July 1. (Dale de la Rey/AFP via Getty Images)
Julia Ye

“Revolution of Our Times,” a documentary about the anti-extradition movement in Hong Kong, was released online globally on June 1. The First Hong Kong Film Festival in Paris, organized by expatriate Hongkongers, will open on June 23.

To let the world hear the voices from Hongkongers, movies covering issues about the anti-totalitarian movement, society, and livelihoods of Hongkongers, are being released. Critics believe that Hongkongers have not given up, they will fight against tyranny in various ways.

After the documentary was released in theaters in some countries and community screenings were held, the team for “Revolution of Our Times” received numerous enquiries from audiences around the world. On May 27, they announced on Facebook that the movie would be released on Vimeo, the online streaming platform, on June 1, 2022. There are two versions to choose from, “Chinese and English subtitles” and “English only subtitles. More versions in other languages will be available in the future.

A team in Taiwan has also successfully released the movie on platforms including MOD, HamiVideo and MyVideo.

The team also said that it has been three years since the anti-extradition movement in 2019, and that they, like the protesters in the film, share the same desire to let the world know about people's struggle through the documentary, and to witness the determination and courage of Hongkongers in the pursuit of democracy and freedom. They also said they hope that the documentary will travel far and reach more people.

Future plans include releasing the movie in South Korea, Japan, and Italy. The team said that they hope the “Revolution of Our Times” will expand to a wider audience, and let more people know the battle history of Hongkongers.

However, Siu Chak-yee, the Commissioner of the Hong Kong Police Force, in an interview with Hong Kong media, warned Hong Kong citizens to not download or watch the movie, if they are unsure about the potential risk of violating the National Security Law. He said the title of the documentary originated from the slogan “Liberate Hong Kong, the revolution of our times,” which is considered a violation of the National Security Law. He didn’t disclose whether the National Security Department of the Force launched any investigation into the production team for violation of the National Security Law.

Director Kiwi Chow Kwun-wai will stay in Hong Kong and continue to create new pieces

“My thoughts about leaving Hong Kong have long been over, I will stay here for the time being,” said Chow in an interview with The Epoch Times program Precious Dialogue. He said he was psychologically prepared to face any hardship before the premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in May, “I will move on and stick to it.”

Chow believes that everyone has a different understanding of freedom, some people think that personal safety and freedom of family are important. But for himself and his family, the freedom of the soul matters more.

He said if he leaves Hong Kong because of fear, then the fear will continue when he’s abroad. “The only thing I will do is resist the fear and stay in Hong Kong, so that I can strive for freedom.” He quoted a Hong Kong social activist, Ho Kwai-lam, former reporter for Stand News, as saying, “What’s the use of freedom if you leave Hong Kong?”

Chow encouraged Hongkongers to maintain life as usual, he revealed he was currently preparing a drama film that isn't related to any political topics. He hopes that investors and actors will join him. He will continue to do his duty as a director, and the audience will soon hear news about the release of the new film.

The First Hong Kong Film Festival in Paris

On the global release of the “Revolution of Our Times,” some expatriate Hongkongers organized the First Hong Kong Film Festival in Paris, which will run for one week. Starting on June 23, there will be six films screened at the Epée de Bois Cinema, on Pedestrian Street, the famous tourist attraction of Mouffetard. The films related to the anti-extradition movement include: May You Stay Forever Young; Inside the Red Brick Wall; Taking back the Legislature.

The organizers issued a statement on the Hong Kong Film Festival website, that “Hong Kong, once a city of free speech, used to pride itself on its dynamic film industry. But since July 1, 2020, the National Security Law imposed by Beijing has brought a wave of censorship into Hong Kong that particularly affects its film industry.”

The statement said, “Making the Hongkongers’ voice heard becomes a ‘now or never’ action and films are one of the best ways to express it.”

Ms. LK, one of the organizers of the Hong Kong Film Festival in Paris, and sponsor of African Hong Kong Freedom Organization, told Radio France Internationale, that expatriate Hongkongers want to continue their Hong Kong identity, “But the Chinese Communist party has silenced Hong Kong, erased the name, and integrated it into the Greater Bay Area.”

The movies at the Festival not only cover issues about the battle of Hongkongers, but also involve society, people’s livelihoods, and the relationship between Hong Kong and mainland China.

LK believes that Hongkongers should learn from the courage of Ukrainians who resist the Russian invasion of their country. “It is necessary to have a spirit of resistance expressed in the cultural field, and it can not simply be reflected by a few battle movies.”

The opening film of the Festival is “May You Stay Forever Young,” which was once shortlisted for two Golden Horse Awards but is now banned in Hong Kong. The film was directed by Rex Rex and Lam Sum, and the background is about the anti-extradition movement in Hong Kong,

Current affairs commentator Gida said that there have been endless touching stories that occurred during the anti-extradition movement over the past two years, which can be called a masterpiece of God, and have provided rich creative material for the film industry. Hong Kong filmmakers have not failed to meet the expectations that they will create many touching films for the world. It is believed that Hongkongers will never give up as they are fighting against tyranny in various ways.

Julia Ye is an Australian-based reporter who joined The Epoch Times in 2021. She mainly covers China-related issues and has been a reporter since 2003.