The Hong Kong Award-Winning Film That China Doesn’t Want You to See

The Hong Kong film Ten Years is a collection of five short films depicting what Hong Kong would be like in 10 years (2025). It shows how human rights and freedoms will gradually diminish as the Mainland Chinese government (CCP) exerts increasing influence there.

While produced on a shoestring budget, the film surprisingly attracted more people than Star Wars: The Force Awakens at the Yau Ma Tei cinema where it was first released. The film’s straightforward and forthright manner and sensitive political themes did not go unnoticed, with the CCP calling Ten Years “a virus of the mind,” and censoring any reports mentioning Ten Years, except in terms of condemnation.

Portraying the core value of Hong Kong’s freedom of speech, human rights, democracy, and other issues considered to be threats by the CCP, the film was nominated for the Best Film Award at the 35th Hong Kong Film Awards. Although state television channels and major Internet sites were prohibited from broadcasting the Hong Kong Film Awards, the film went on to win the award.

It received positive reviews from a majority of Hong Kong audiences; some critics even stated that it represented a declaration of the people of Hong Kong. One viewer, Pamela Lam, told ABC:

Another film-goer, Sandy Li, said that Ten Years:

After winning the award for Best Film at the Hong Kong Film Awards, it set off a firestorm in the Hong Kong film industry. The five directors recently arrived in Taiwan to promote the film, and sat down with NTD TV to talk about the creative process.

From left: Directors (Screenshot/YouTube)

From left: The five directors Kwok Zune, Wong Fei-Pang, Chow Kwun-Wai, Ng Ka-Leung, and Jevons Au. (Image: Screenshot/YouTube)

Here is a bit of what they had to say…

Kwok Zune explained:

Wong Fei-Pang said:

Zhou Guan Wei explained how:

Ng Ka-Leung talked about censorship, saying:

Kwok Zune said:

With courage and honesty, five young directors in Hong Kong made the film Ten Years to reflect today’s Hong Kong. The film will be released in August.  The directors hope to inspire audiences in Taiwan to imagine how Taiwan could be in the next decade.

Translation edited by David Clapp and Troy Oakes.

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