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Hong Kong movie riles China

Hong Kong movie riles China

In Hong Kong, a woman sets herself on fire in protest, a taxi driver despairs at the eradication of the local language and young children in military uniform prowl the streets, echoing the horrors of China’s Cultural Revolution.But this is not the past, it is Hong Kong in 2025 as portrayed in the movie “Ten Years”, which has been a box office hit locally—despite some cinemas refusing to show it—and has raised hackles in China.The five-part movie made by young Hong Kong directors taps residents’ worst fears for the future of the semi-autonomous territory as Beijing’s grip tightens.Its sell-out screenings have come against an increasingly turbulent backdrop of running battles between young protesters and police, and the detention in China of five booksellers critical of Beijing, as concern grows that Hong Kong’s long-cherished freedoms are dying.

Since its release at the end of December, the movie, made for just HK$500,000 ($64,000), has earned an unexpected HK$6 million and is now a “best film” contender at the Hong Kong Film Awards on April 3.“The movie is giving a voice to the unexpressed sentiment of Hong Kongers,” director Ng Ka-leung, 34, told AFP.“I wanted to use the film to respond to some questions I wanted answered, including whether or not Hong Kong has a way out, and how would Hong Kong change.”Ng’s segment “Egg Man” portrays an egg vendor under attack from young “red guards” seeking to denounce citizens.China has flexed its muscles in response.Broadcasts of the Hong Kong Film Awards on the mainland have been pulled, with the movie’s nomination widely believed to be the reason.China’s state-run Global Times newspaper hit out at the film as “totally absurd” and a “virus of the mind”.Ng suspects political motivations were behind the difficulty in getting the film a decent run in Hong Kong cinemas.“Why wouldn’t cinemas consider our movie, which was profitable and when lots of people still wanted to see it?” he questioned.