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.
Hong Kong / 2019 / Colour / 179 mins / In Mandarin with Chinese and English subtitles Director: Jill LI
Embedding herself in a small fishing village in southern China for several years starting in 2011, first-time documentarian Jill Li witnessed an unprecedented experiment in local democracy. Corrupt officials had illegally sold villagers' land, but the villagers decided to fight back.
The documentary is divided into two halves: the first, "Protests", depicts the grassroots activities of the residents as they work to reverse the land sales and gain a substantial measure of control over their local territory. We see how the villagers themselves learn to organise free and fair elections, form alliances, and win support. Part two, "After Protests", confronts the collapse of idealism as the newly elected village government finds itself mired in the same kind of corrupt dealings they had originally condemned.
Li reveals the complexities of their triumphs and setbacks from the inside. Her astonishingly intimate, sympathetic and fair-minded access to the events' major players reveals Chinese local politics with three-dimensional passion and energy.
- Official Selection International Documentary Festival Amsterdam
- Hong Kong Asian Film Festival 2019
- 2021 TIDF Asian Horizon competition
- Vancouver International Film Festival 2019
- Best Documentary at the 57th Golden Horse
- Frontlight Tomorrow’s Classic section at IDFA 2020
In November 2011, I went on assignment from Hong Kong to investigate the Siege of Wukan, Guangdong province, China. Back then I had been a video journalist for merely three months and was immediately captivated by the situations unfolding. Wukan villagers possessed a vast knowledge of democracy, and held a strong democratic vision, that completely destroyed the stereotypes of Chinese peasants. I was deeply amazed and decided to switch my lens to a documentary, with enduring patience. My goal was to observe and keep a record of their pilgrim's progress or regress. Never did I expect that filming would last for eight years. The situation developed far beyond my wildest expectations and also brought many challenges to the production. I found myself switching focus from the incident itself to my protagonists and their decisions. The ups and downs of the lives of Wukan villagers serve as a magnifying glass to help us take a closer look at China's social movements and its complexity.
Jill Li is an independent documentary director, illustrator and ex-journalist. Her work focuses on individual circumstances and choices in the midst of societal changes. “LOST COURSE” is her directorial feature length documentary debut, awarded at the 57th Golden Horse for Best Documentary, selected for the 2020 IDFA Frontlight Tomorrow’s Classic section, 2021 TIDF Asian Horizon competition, Vancouver International Film Festival 2019 and Hong Kong Asian Film Festival 2019.
Date & Time
Mon, Mar 27, 2023 6:30 pm - 10:00 pm
Lucas Lecture Theatre, King's College LondonStrand Building, King's College London
London, London WC2R 2LS