Dystopian film about Hong Kong in 2025 touches nerve with Beijing
By Clare Baldwin
HONG KONG (Reuters) - "Ten Years", a film which portrays a dystopian future Hong Kong under tight Chinese Communist Party control, has been a hit in Hong Kong and abroad, selling out cinemas, sparking discussions and being screened at international film festivals.
But Chinese state media has criticized the film and that has aroused new concern about mainland influence over Hong Kong despite a "one country, two systems" formula meant to preserve the city's autonomy.
"Ten Years" is a series of five short films packaged as a feature-length show. Set in the year 2025, the film includes scenes of a self-immolation in front of Hong Kong's British Consulate and an assassination attempt in a city election.
The scenes, while fictional, underscore tension simmering between mainland China and the former British colony that returned to Chinese rule in 1997.
The film has been nominated for Best Picture at the Hong Kong Film Awards, Hong Kong's equivalent of the Oscars, due to be announced on April 3.
Its makers say their project began before pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong in late 2014 that exacerbated longstanding concern in the city about creeping mainland control.
"We were just trying to produce a film that we thought was true and reflected what is really happening in Hong Kong," said "Ten Years" executive producer Andrew Choi.
"Our intent was not to be a political film." Continued...