본문 바로가기 메뉴 바로가기

Development Fund



Against the Day

Pak-hung Philip HO

  • Hong Kong
  • 100min
  • DCP
  • color

Synopsis

"Against the Day" is about『Bi-Weekly』​, an avant-garde magazine in 1970s Hong Kong. The film will focus on the formation and dissolution of the magazine, with the social movement in Hong Kong as the background, in order to tell a story of 1970s Hong Kong - ‘the Era of Heat Fire’ for social movement and the youth at the time in the city. The 1967 Riot and the aftermath did not appease the undercurrent of social discontent in Hong Kong. In the early 1970s, young people still went to protest, first against the educational system, then against the colonial ruled in the name of ‘Defending 'Diao-yu Islands.’ Some of the protesters, who were influenced by the radical political thoughts as well as contemporary arts and culture, converted in anarchism and believed this would be the cure for Hong Kong society and even for the liberation of the world. They were youngsters from 『70’s Bi-Weekly』. Led by Ng Chungyin and Augustine Chiu-yu Mok,『Bi-Weekly』​was aimed at young people who believed in activism, anti-capitalism, and anti-colonialism. People from『70’s Bi-Weekly』put forward a radical and progressive outlook at the time and were once the vanguard of social movement in Hong Kong. Nevertheless, the changing socio-political circumstances resulted in the decline of protests. Also due to disagreements of beliefs inside the group,『Bi-Weekly』​disbanded after only 3 years of existence. The legacy of『Bi-Weekly』​for Hong Kong, however, is long-lasting and is even still continuing. What did they do back at that time, and what stories and thoughts do they have for Hong Kong? Through the film we also want to investigate: how is their ‘failure’ connected with the Hong Kong we are living in today? Can we see an alternative way-out for the city through the stories of the people from『Bi-Weekly』​? What actually happened in ‘the Era of Heat Fire’? What did those young people from『Bi-Weekly』​experience in the 1970s, who once were seen as the vanguard of social movement in Hong Kong?  Since the first issue was published,『Bi-Weekly』​had been always monitored by the colonial British government. The colonial regime once accused『Bi-Weekly』​of bring an ‘illegal publication’ and confiscated all the published issues. What exactly was there in print that made the colonial government make such a move and surveil the leaders of 『Bi-Weekly』​? The film will start with the issues and move into the scenes of the social movement in 1970’s Hong Kong. Not only responding to the grand narrative of ‘History’, the film will be chasing the memories, thoughts, and pursuits of the anarchists through images, photographs, and experimental films - like in the other parts of the world at the time, the youngsters from『Bi-Weekly』​also used the small camera to make their short films around the protests and daily lives. With the materials mentioned and in-depth interviews with the members, we will reconstruct the then visual experience and memories of the young people in the 1970’s Hong Kong. Through the story of『Bi-Weekly』​, we also want to review the history of social movement in Hong Kong and thus think again about the identity of the Hong Kong people.

Director's Statement

When we started working on the story of 『Bi-Weekly』 it was about the start of the epic protests in Hong Kong following the Anti-Extradition Movement in 2019. Histories are alike: in the stories of protests from the members of『Bi-Weekly』we saw the concepts like ‘Decentralized Leadership’ and the flexible tactics, just like we also saw (and are still seeing) from the protesters in 2019 in Hong Kong. Back in early 1971, the peak of the protests was also triggered by police brutality. 1970s Hong Kong is not only about ‘Lion Rock Spirit’ - the version of capitalist work-ethic in Hong Kong during the economic boom era. It is also about the youth at the time seeking their identity, independence, and a better life. The strive for those was shown in the waves of protests about anti-colonialism and cultural identity in Hong Kong in the 1970s. However, the stories for the ‘anarchists’ in『Bi-Weekly』were usually invisible in the grand narrative of Hong Kong history. We want to add this part of the puzzle of Hong Kong history back in the big picture. The story of『Bi-Weekly』has actually not ended yet - the members had simply gone on their separate paths into the world. Some persist in their beliefs, like Augustine Mok, who dedicate themselves to arts and keep searching for ‘the third way’ from socialism or capitalism for Hong Kong. Some changed their flags of ideology to seek more opportunities. Some got lost hereafter and some went back into ‘normal livelihood’ to embrace the coming ‘Golden Age’ of Hong Kong. All in all, the footsteps and influence brought about from『Bi-Weekly』changed different aspects in Hong Kong: be it arts, theaters, music, cinema, and more. Especially the coming ‘New Wave’ of Hong Kong Cinema in the late-1970s rooted with the members of『Bi-Weekly』. That’s the point that makes the history of『Bi-Weekly』so fascinating.

Director

  • Pak-hung Philip HO

     

Credit

  • Producer리타 후이 Rita HUI