Dystopian film about Hong Kong in 2025 touches nerve with Beijing

Thu Mar 17, 2016 1:55am EDT
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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...

An undated handout action still released on March 3, 2016 of "Self-immolator", part of Hong Kong movie "Ten Years" that is nominated for the Best Film award at the upcoming Hong Kong Film Awards, which will be held in Hong Kong, China on April 3, 2016.  REUTERS/Andy Wong/Yen Years Studio Handout