Date
25 March 2017
Hongkongers are flocking to the locally made film Ten Years despite its bleak depiction of their city's future in 2025. Photo: Youtube
Hongkongers are flocking to the locally made film Ten Years despite its bleak depiction of their city's future in 2025. Photo: Youtube

Dark vision of Hong Kong’s future proves surprise box office hit

A protester douses her body in gasoline and sets herself alight outside the British consulate.

Government assassins kill a local politician to spark a riot that will allow them to seize greater control.

Uniformed “youth guards” attack a bookshop accused of selling banned materials.

This is the vision of Hong Kong in 2025 conveyed by the locally made film Ten Years, which has attracted massive audiences amid concerns that Beijing is tightening its grip on the city, CNN reported.

Ten Years — produced on a shoestring budget by a largely volunteer cast and crew — opened at only one movie theater in the arthouse Broadway Cinematheque in the city late last year, but it outperformed global smash hit Star Wars: The Force Awakens, at the theater.

Its initial success has earned Ten Years a mass release citywide, and its producers are in talks with international distributors.

“The reaction was quite unexpected,” director and co-producer Ng Ka-leung, 34, told CNN.

“It has resonated with a lot of people in Hong Kong.”

The film’s success comes as tensions in the city are heightened following the disappearance of several Hongkongers who published books critical of China’s Communist Party leaders, sparking protests in which thousands took to the streets to demand their return.

Ten Years consists of several short films set in 2025.

The most shocking, Self Immolator, opens with a protester setting herself on fire outside the British consulate.

Director Chow Kwun-wai said the film was an attempt to shock audiences into taking concrete action to better their situation now, lest they be left with only terrible choices later on.

“Hong Kong has been fighting for democracy for many years, and we’ve been lied to for many years,” Chow said.

Low-budget film on Hong Kong future turns into blockbuster (Jan. 6, 2016)

– Contact us at english@hkej.com

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