The issue of censorship threatens Hong Kong cinema more than ever. However, this industry has long been the inspiration for world cinema with its diversity and creativity. From Wong Kar Wai's visual splendor to John Woo and Johnny Tu's fast-paced action movies, Hong Kong films have been a major hit for international cinema for decades.
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American director Quentin Tarantino once said in an interview with a news agency that he was not just a fan of Hong Kong cinema, but had read about it. other prominent American filmmakers, such as the Watchowski and the Matrix makers, mention the art of Hong Kong cinema in their work. Specially returned to China, he has repeatedly found his way into their film designs, both overtly and covertly. Hong Kong films have often dealt with topics that are taboo in China, such as sexual orientation, mental illness, and the pro-democracy movement.
Threat of censorship
Police violence against protesters ; A scene from the documentary Do Not Split
In August 2021, Chinese-controlled authorities in Hong Kong unveiled a new censorship law that would scrutinize new and even older films. Will take. "Any film that is shown in public, past, present or future, needs to be approved," said Commerce Secretary Edward Yao. The news came as a shock not only to Hong Kong filmmakers but to film lovers around the world.
So Chinese censors are threatening the long-established film industry. After the release of films in the former British colony in the late nineteenth century by brothers and film pioneers August and Louis Lumire, Hong Kong's first feature film was released in early 1909. After that, exciting films were formed, which were initially overshadowed by Shanghai.
2. Brus Lee's passionate start1972 in "Death Greetings from Shanghai", once Hong Kong's most important export film.
It was kung Fu in the 1970s that brought Hong Kong to the international stage. The films starring the late martial arts legend Bruce Lee became a global thriller and sparked a passion for martial arts that continues to this day. His compatriot, Jackie Chan, followed in his footsteps in the 1980s. Is. For example, Chan told a news conference in 2009 that "too much freedom" created "chaotic" societies like Hong Kong, and that he felt the Chinese needed to be "controlled."
Those martial arts films not only paved the way for other filmmakers in the 1980s and 1990s who are still active today, but also established Hong Kong cinema on the international stage. More than 30 years after his success with The Killer (1989), John Woo set aesthetic standards with action films such as Atomic Blonde (2017) and the John Wick series. Wick (2014) goes on to say that they have influenced not only Hollywood thrillers, but also independent films.
3. Ode to overthrow
"Hell Affairs" ( Infernal Affairs (2002) starring Andrew Love and Alan Mac represents a divided community
Wong Kar Wai became famous alongside Wu. The award-winning filmmaker has impressed audiences with films such as "Chungking Express" (1994) and "In the Mood for Love" (2000), both of which are popular classics. There are noir and new wave in the film. In addition to dealing with failed love and passion, those films are cinematic expressions of love for his hometown of Hong Kong.
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The thriller "Hell" starring Andrew Love and Alan McAll is an example of the destructive power of Hong Kong cinema. In this exciting action, two men on different sides of the law play the deadly game of cat and mouse. The identity crises of the two heroes, created a few years after the British surrender of Hong Kong to China in 1997, reflect the disjointed nature of Hong Kong society. In 2007, veteran Hollywood filmmaker Martin Scorsese remade the film, The Departed, which won several awards, including a Golden Globe and four Academy Awards.
Filmmaking despite the problems
and alone; Shawn Yu in "Mad World" (2016)
Despite the growing influence of the authorities, some of Hong Kong's brave filmmakers persevered in their exercise of artistic freedom. The political satire "Ten Years" (2015) in 2025 consists of five short episodes made by different directors. The series includes stories of taxi drivers having to take a Mandarin language test, an activist setting himself on fire in front of the British embassy, and children in military uniforms controlling adults. In Hong Kong, the film was a huge success despite its limited budget and limited screening opportunities, but was censored in China. . The film portrays a former financial analyst who loses his job due to bipolar disorder and is subsequently discharged from a mental hospital. He returns home to the father of his truck driver, who reluctantly takes care of him. This film critiques the treatment of people with mental health problems and questions the existence of God.
5. Reflection of reality
Edward Leung, activist He is now imprisoned, in Nora Lam's Lost in the Fumes
of the 2017 documentary Vanished Archives, which deals with the 1967 riots against British colonial power in which 51 people were killed and more than 1,000 were injured. Because the film also explores the role of the Chinese government, director Connie Lu Wen was forced to produce it at his own expense with the help of private sponsors. He also could not find a distributor. Pro-democracy Hong Kongs then backed him by buying large copies of DVDs of his films. Is harassed. The film won an award at the Taiwan International Documentary Film Festival, but was not allowed to be shown in Hong Kong commercial cinemas due to its violence. Leung was convicted of rioting and has been in prison since 2018.
Chung Ying Street No. 1 (2018) The Contradictions of the 1967 Uprising and the Umbrella Revolution It depicts 2014 and raises questions about issues such as police violence. The film also received no financial support for being "non-commercial" and was rejected by the Hong Kong International Film Festival. However, it won the top prize at the Osaka Asian Film Festival in Japan.
" Chang Yang Street No. 1 "(2018) was rejected in Hong Kong but was acclaimed in Japan
Filmmakers from other parts of the world have also visited Hong Kong. The American/Norwegian film "Do Not Split" (2020), directed by Norwegian director Anders Hammer, is about the large-scale protests and police violence against pro-democracy activists in 2019 and was nominated for the 2021 Academy Award for Best Short Documentary.>
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