[Free Event] Blue Island 憂鬱之島@SODA, Manchester Metropolitan University (Parallel Screening with The Battle of Orgreave)

  • Sat, Mar 25, 2023 11:30 am - 1:15 pm
  • School of Digital Arts (SODA) Cinema, Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU)

    14 Higher Chatham Street
    Manchester, Lancashire M15 6ED
Ticket Price (GBP) Free This event is now over

You may get group ticket for Blue Island 憂鬱之島 + The Battle of Orgreave 歐格里夫抗爭事件 + Panel Discussion in one go: https://hkffuk.simpletix.co.uk/c/633


Blue Island 憂鬱之島


These are all stories of youth. A young man preferred to risk swimming across the raging sea towards a safe haven in order to avoid being caught up in the Cultural Revolution on the mainland. Another young man resisting colonialism was imprisoned for printing patriotic periodicals during the riots, and was long forgotten by the country after his release. A third youth went to Beijing to support students' demands for freedom, only to see their dreams and bodies crushed under the treads of tanks. 

The beliefs and ideals held by each generation are eventually submerged by the deluge of history. How do these generations recall, confront, and narrate their irreversible fates?

The film documents three real-life characters who engaged in rebellions when they were young. Through reconstructing these events, the film dramatises their scarred memories and experiences by showcasing the stories of four young people who participated in the 2019 Anti-extradition Law Amendment Movement in Hong Kong. These real protagonists are separated by time and history, yet their lives parallel and overlap, because they have similarly defiant backgrounds and find themselves the same chaotic predicaments. 

Images flow between documentary and drama, blending archival materials, interviews and behind-the-scenes footage, weaving an expansive tapestry that encompasses these tumultuous eras… 

How do the young people of this city envision their future today? What do they think about this seemingly unwinnable revolution?  







  • Best international feature(outspoken outstanding) at hotdocs 2022 
  • Comcast Xfinity Documentary Competition award at CAAMFEST 2022


Selected in:

  • Official selection at MIFF 2022
  • Official selection at BFI London Film Festival 2022
  • Official selection International Film festival Rotterdam 2022
  • Official selection at New directors New Films 2022
  • Taiwan International Documentary Festival 2022


Director's Statement:

I was born in the very last decade of Britain’s colonial rule over Hong Kong. Along with a population full of trepidation about the impending transfer of sovereignty to China, I grew up under a shroud of uncertainty. The accompanying political and social upheavals prompted me to embark on an exploration of the nuances of 'Hongkongers' collective identity. The intertwining destinies of Hong Kong and China is therefore a topic close to my heart.

My conception of this film emerged during the low tide right after the Umbrella Movement of 2014. Shrouded in a collective feeling of failure and hopelessness, I considered seeking out people who experienced other major historic events in Hong Kong. I wondered if, through reminiscences of their experiences, we could explore the universality of the plight of civic activism.

As the project proceeded, this impression of a sweeping atmosphere of melancholy on an isolated island became even more pronounced. Especially following the Anti-extradition Law Movement in 2019, the title Blue Island suits even better the limbo we now find ourselves in.

This is a story about those generations who have contemplated the nature of Hong Kong and their identities as Hongkongers, but are depressed by their inability to shape the city's fate. This kind of disillusionment is a universal tether that binds all of us together.







Director’s Biography: 

Chan Tze Woon is a Hong Kong-based director and writer. Born 1987 and raised in this city, his debut feature-length documentary Yellowing (2016) examined the Umbrella Movement, a large-scale civil occupation in 2014. This documentary explored Hong Kong's fraught relationship with mainland China. It won the Shinsuke Ogawa Prize at the 2017 Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival, and was nominated for Best Documentary at the 2016 Taipei Golden Horse Film Awards.

Chan's first two short films, The AqueousTruth (2013) and Being Rain: Representation and Will (2014), both broached the subject of HongKong's political situation by means of conspiracy plots and mockumentary form.

Blue Island is Chan's second feature-length film.


他的首部紀錄長片《亂世備忘》( 2016 )記錄雨傘運動,奪得山形國際紀錄片影展的「小川紳介獎」,亦入圍金馬獎最佳紀錄片、2020年鹿特丹國際影展等。

過去創作一直嘗試模糊記錄劇情的界線,短片作品《香港人不知道的》( 2013 )、《作為雨水:表象及意志》( 2014 )亦以偽紀錄片方式切入香港的政治景況。《憂鬱之島》為他第二部長片作品。


The Battle of Orgreave 歐格里夫抗爭事件

Full Synopsis:

In 1984 the National Union of Mineworkers went on strike. The dispute lasted for over a year and was the most bitterly fought since the general strike of 1926. On 18 June that year, the Orgreave coking plant in South Yorkshire was the site of one of the most violent confrontations, which culminated in a cavalry charge through the village.

Jeremy Deller’s The Battle of Orgreave, staged seventeen years later, was a spectacular re-enactment of what happened that day. Orchestrated by Howard Giles, a historical re-enactment expert, it involved more than 800 participants, including former miners and policemen, reliving the events that they themselves took part in.

The Battle of Orgreave, filmed by Mike Figgis for Artangel and Channel 4, first aired on 20 October 2002. The film intercuts dramatic photographs from the clashes in 1984 with footage of the reenactment in 2001 and powerful testimonies to tease out the complexities of this bitter struggle.

Director’s Biography:

Mike was born in Carlisle but after 6 months moved to Kenya for 8 years. Relocating to Newcastle as a teenager, he played in rock bands with the likes of Bryan Ferry. Moving down to London he studied music – which led Mike to join the performance group, THE PEOPLE SHOW.  For the next 10 years they toured the world, and it is during this time that Mike acknowledges he learned everything about theatrical technique. After an abortive attempt to study film, Mike left THE PEOPLE SHOW to form his own multi media group and began to make films in a Performance Art Genre. REDHEUGH (1980), SLOW FADE (1982) and ANIMALS OF THE CITY (1984) were critically acclaimed and led to Mike entering the film world. 

STORMY MONDAY was his first feature film and shortly afterwards Mike made the move to Hollywood where he directed Richard Gere in INTERNAL AFFAIRS (1989). He also composed the score. After 3 films and some studio conflicts, Mike decided to break away from the mainstream with LEAVING LAS VEGAS (1994) for which he received 2 Oscar nominations. An early pioneer of digital technology and its power to demystify modern filmmaking Mike (a renowned film theorist) has written several books on the subject. ‘Digital film making’ and ‘The 36 Dramatic Situations for Film’ (a film-focused version of Georges Polti's seminal book; it gives readers heightened understanding of the fundamental principles of storytelling). His film TIMECODE (2000) was the first feature film to be shot entirely in one take and significantly changed the language of contemporary film narrative. After 15 years in Hollywood this polymath felt it was time for change and moved back to London to focus on a wider range of genres, as well as continuing his ongoing experiments with film narrative. He has curated festivals (‘Just tell the truth’ Royal Opera House), teaches, exhibits his Fine art photography, as well as performing and recording with the free music ensemble ‘People Band’. Last year he released an album with the GK4 after their debut gig at London's cafe Oto. Figgis is one of the most innovative and iconoclastic writer-directors in cinema today, still creating new films, both for the mainstream and experimental world. Recently, he made a documentary about Rolling Stones guitarist, Ronnie Wood (SOMEBODY UP THERE LIKES ME, 2019) alongside MOTHER-TONGUE, a feature film shot in Hong Kong during Covid, which is in the final stages of post-production. Mike has two films in pre-production, in New Mexico and South Korea, these will commence once his documentary on Francis Ford Coppola and his film ‘MEGALOPOLIS’ are finished in March 2023.

Artist’s Biography: 

Jeremy Deller (b. 1966 in London; lives and works in London) studied Art History at the Courtauld Institute and at Sussex University. Deller won the Turner Prize in 2004 and represented Britain in the 55th Venice Biennale in 2013. He has been producing projects over the past two decades which have influenced the conventional map of contemporary art. He began making artworks in the early 1990s, often showing them outside conventional galleries.

Date & Time

Sat, Mar 25, 2023 11:30 am - 1:15 pm

Venue Details

School of Digital Arts (SODA) Cinema, Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU)

14 Higher Chatham Street
Manchester, Lancashire M15 6ED School of Digital Arts (SODA) Cinema, Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU)
Hong Kong Film Festival UK

The Hong Kong Film Festival UK, HKFF (UK), aims to shine an international spotlight on Hong Kong’s creativity and humanity through film. The festival also strives to promote cultural interactions and exchanges between Hong Kong communities and UK citizens. Hong Kong’s world-renowned cinema was born out of its unique history and rich social context. Building on this vivid and eclectic history, the Festival aims to introduce a new wave of Hong Kong cinema that has blossomed in an era of drastic transformation. It is time to tell Hong Kong’s story again, to preserve and promote Hong Kong's cultural heritage, and to reflect on the city's enchanting, complex, and challenging reality from a fresh perspective.

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