A Spotlight on Hong Kong

By Karin Chien

Amidst global crises competing for our attention, I value the current attention that is being paid to Hong Kong and its recent protests, coming in part from the splashy new drama series on Amazon Prime, The Expats

If you’re looking for more on Hong Kong, we are proud to offer six extraordinary, locally-made films in the dGenerate Films collection on OVID. These films are radical in their aesthetics and brave in their points of view – and they have changed the way I think about documentary, resistance and crisis narratives. 

Start with these two riveting films that were collectively authored and anonymously made. Together, they bookend the cataclysmic events of 2019. It was a risk for the collective of filmmakers to make this work and a greater risk for them to release the films. They offer a radical look from inside two protests and sieges, and are invaluable historical records:

Taking Back the Legislature on OVID

Inside the Red Brick Wall on OVID

Next, I find artist Tiffany Sia’s work absolutely essential in resisting dominant crisis narratives. When I first watched her work “Never Rest / Unrest” it felt like a cinematic antidote, that provided great emotional relief, from prolonged exposure to sensationalist, spectacularizing work made by filmmakers helicoptering in and out of Hong Kong’s protests. 

Never rest/ unrest

Do not circulate

What rules the invisible

Watch all three by Tiffany Sia on OVID

Lastly, the incomparable Blue Island, a film that defies categorization and spans a lifetime of political resistance in Hong Kong. Its formal brilliance belies the very real-life stakes of its protagonists, many of whom faced prison sentencing during and after the film’s release. Named one of the best documentaries of 2022.

Blue Island on OVID

I hope you’ll find these films from Hong Kong as stimulating and rewarding as I have! 

Karin Chien is the co-founder and president of dGenerate Films, the leading distributor of independent, contemporary Chinese cinema. The dGenerate Films collection is proud to distribute over 80 visionary films from mainland China and Hong Kong in partnership with Icarus Films and OVID. Chien is also founder and president of the global production company Art & Action, director of the artist retreat Nevada City Film Festival Residency, and a founding member of the collective Distribution Advocates. Chien’s producing credits include Cannes Official Selection Man in Black by Wang Bing, among many others.


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