Hong Kong - Ga yau
Nominated for Best Feature Documentary
Directed by Marco Di Noia
50' • Germany • 2020
Hong Kong - Ga Yau is a documentary about the protest movement that has been shaking Hong Kong since June 2019. The movement was triggered by a proposed law that would have allowed the extraditions to mainland China of Hong Kong citizens, but soon it morphed into a larger revolt against China’s control over the semi-autonomous city. Clashes between riot police and protesters often erupted during rallies and marches calling for democratic freedoms and independent inquiry into the police behaviour. People were walking on the streets, demanding to the government reforms and to defend their freedoms and their identity, from China, from what they call a cultural oppression and a clear attempt to shrink the freedoms that the former British colony had managed to keep up until then. Protesters are questioning the core of the Sino-British Joint Declaration: the 1997 deal between London and Beijing based on the principle of “one nation - two system”, a strange architecture meant to preserve Hong Kong lifestyle and freedoms in the framework of a nation ruled by the strong grip of the Chinese Communist party. The system, if ever was something, is clearly crumbling: things are changing very fast, and the influence and the policies imposed by Beijing and Xi Jinping’s course are shrinking Hong Kong liberties and shaping the way of life of its population. Despite the loss in the 2019 District Council elections, the government doesn’t seem to be willing to listen, compromise or find any political solution, what has been imposed is de facto a police state at low intensity, brutal and arbitrary arrests are carried out whenever people gather, or try any form of expression of their democratic cause, activists and journalist are more often banned from entering the city, the level of civil rights and freedom in the city is deteriorating and the situation is leaving little hope for the future.