This cinematic tapestry of contemporary Hong Kong weaves together the memories of older generations’ historical experiences with the struggles of the younger generation striving to preserve their freedom today.
The film documents three real-life characters who engaged in rebellions when they were young. Through reconstructing these events, the film dramatizes their scarred memories and experiences by using 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 in similarly 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?
“This is a story about those generations who have contemplated the nature of Hong Kong and their identities as Hongkongers, but who 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.”
Dir. Chan Tze Woon
About the director
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 Aqueous Truth (2013) and Being Rain: Representation and Will (2014), both broached the subject of Hong Kong’s political situation by means of conspiracy plots and the mockumentary form.
Blue Island is Chan’s second feature-length film.
—Jury of the Hot Docs International Documentary Film Festival
“An interesting blend of documentary and fiction covering the recent years of turmoil in Hong Kong. It’s a bold series of interviews and recreations.”
“A film like Blue Island really epitomizes the power of cinema in preserving the truth, which is no small feat, and in the current reality of Hong Kong, a valiant victory.”
PAST THEATRICAL SCREENINGS
VIFF Centre, Vancouver
Seattle, Northwest Film Forum
METROGRAPH, New York City
San Francisco, Roxie Theater
Los Angeles, Laemmle’s Royal Theater
Detroit Institute of Arts
-Birmingham Broad Street
-Glasgow Renfrew Street
-London O2 Greenwich
-Edinburgh Lothian Road
-Birmingham New Street
-Manchester Great Northern
Genesis Cinema, London
Tyneside Cinema, Newcastle
Broadway Cinema, Nottingham
Institut Francais, London
Blue Island 憂鬱之島
2022 | Hong Kong, Japan