×

Berlin: Golden Scene Picks up Hong Kong Political Drama ’10 Years’

Golden Scene has picked up international rights to “10 Years,” a dark political fantasy about the future of Hong Kong, the iconic territory which passed from British to Chinese rule.

The picture was made as an ultra-low-budget independent, with five directors each contributing a short section imagining different aspects of how life in Hong Kong may have changed ten years from now.

It got a theatrical release in the week before Christmas, having had a quiet premiere in November at the Hong Kong Asian Film Festival.

It has remained on screens and expanded the width of its release to become a surprise hit. As of Jan. 31 it had accumulated $692,000 (HK$5.4 million).

What appears to have driven interest in the movie is a combination of the political climate in ‘Greater China’ and  how several of the film’s fictional imaginings appear to be coming true.

Among the scenarios imagined in “10 Years” are bans on the use of the Cantonese language and on the word “local.”

Hong Kong has little track record of making political movies, but events in the last few years have created a highly charged atmosphere. These pitch a government of Beijing loyalists, business types and economic pragmatists against others who value Cantonese culture and traditions, freedom of speech and aspire to representative democracy.

The former colony witnessed an extraordinary act of public defiance, known as ‘Occupy Central’, in late 2014 when thousands of people took up residence in the streets, as a protest against what they saw as government retreat on plans to allow democratic elections. The failure of that mass movement has given rise to bitterness and frustration, and a sharper division between the pro-Beijing camp and newly named as ‘localists.’

And in a scene that could have come straight out of the movie, shots were fired as a riot broke out last week in the Mongkok district. The protest erupted after Hong Kong police tried to clear unlicensed street traders selling traditional food on the first day of the Chinese New Year holidays. Local residents took it as another assault on local values and further erosion of the ‘One Country, Two Systems’ arrangement under which Hong Kong is supposed to be governed with a ‘high degree of autonomy’ for the 50 years that followed the 1997 handover.

“We wrote the screenplays for our sections prior to Occupy Central,” prodicer-director Ng Ka-leung told Variety. “But we found that each of us had rewritten our segments afterwards because some of what we had foreseen happening ten years out was happening in the present.”

Ironically, efforts to suppress the film may have contributed to its box office success. The Global Times, a mainland Chinese tabloid newspaper, fueled the fire by calling it “absurd and ridiculous,” and labelled its message as a “virus of the mind.”

 

 

 

More Film

  • Tiny: The Life of Erin Blackwell

    Film Review: 'TINY: The Life of Erin Blackwell'

    “Streetwise,”  the classic and haunting 1984 documentary about homeless street kids in Seattle, is a movie that’s now 35 years old. But for anyone who has seen it, the children it’s about — drifters, hustlers, squatters, thieves, prostitutes — remain frozen in time. And none of them was ever more memorable than Tiny, the 14-year-old [...]

  • Animation Studio Fire

    Revenge Motive May Have Sparked Kyoto Animation Arson Attack

    Japanese media is speculating that revenge was the motivation for the arson attack on Kyoto Animation which killed 33 people on Thursday. Investigative sources quoted by Jiji Press on Friday said that the man in custody had a grudge against the studio. “Since [the studio] stole my novel, I poured out the liquid and set [...]

  • Terminator: Dark Fate Gabriel Luna

    'Terminator: Dark Fate' Cast Proud of Latinx Representation in Latest Installment

    The stars of the Tim Miller-directed “Terminator: Dark Fate” stormed the stage of San Diego Comic-Con’s Hall H on Thursday, but it wasn’t until after the panel — which included appearances from Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton — that Natalia Reyes, Gabriel Luna and Diego Boneta reflected on what makes the upcoming installment in the [...]

  • It

    Producer Sues Warner Bros. Over 'It' Film Adaptations

    A producer who developed the original “It” TV miniseries sued Warner Bros. on Thursday, alleging the studio breached his contract by making the films “It” and “It Chapter Two” without him. Frank Konigsberg and Larry Sanitsky were running Telepictures in the early 1980s when they acquired the rights to the Stephen King novel. They developed [...]

  • Animation Studio Fire

    Kyoto Arson Attack: Animation Community Mourns Colleagues

    Thursday’s deadly attack on Japan’s Kyoto Animation studios left many in the animation community shocked and horrified by the loss of 33 of their colleagues. Another 36 people were injured in the attack, which was Japan’s deadliest ever. A suspect was arrested after pouring a flammable liquid inside the building, which caught fire and trapped [...]

  • Nicolas Cage

    Film News Roundup: Nicolas Cage's '10 Double Zero' Completes Financing

    In today’s film news roundup, financing has been secured for a Nicolas Cage police drama, feature drama “Topside” is unveiled and the late Tom Snyder is getting a tribute from his daughter. FINANCING COMPLETED DCR Finance Corp. has signed a deal to complete the financing for Nicolas Cage’s upcoming crime drama “10 Double Zero.” The [...]

  • Matt Damon and Tom McCarthy Team

    Matt Damon Teams with 'Spotlight' Director Tom McCarthy on New Film (EXCLUSIVE)

    Even as buzz grows for his upcoming race car drama “Ford v. Ferrari,” Matt Damon looks to keep the pedal to the metal: the A-lister is set to star in the Participant Media feature film “Stillwater” with Tom McCarthy directing. Damon attached himself in May, and the package was quickly acquired by Participant, who previously [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content