Updated: Nov 26
Love in the Time of Revolution” Movie Showing Sold-out in Vancouver - Rapturous Response from Audience
During 2019’s “Anti-extradition” movement in Hong Kong, there was a writing on a wall that proclaimed, “For love, we revolt”. Three years later, this saying became the title of a film reflecting the struggles of the people of Hong Kong at the time. This film takes a close-up look at the glorious and magnificent struggles of that year. In the afternoon of Saturday, August 5th, the Vancouver Society in Support of Democratic Movement (VSSDM) arranged a showing of the film at downtown’s VIFF, attracting a full house as well as rapturous response from the audience. Following the showing, director Twinkle Ngan, who currently resides in the United Kingdom and Simon Lee, former columnist for Next Media and executive of Next Digital, interacted with the audience using internet video connection, and was extremely well-received by the audience.
Like other films that document the struggles of that fateful year, this 107-minute film recorded the ins and outs of the events that transpired during the struggles. The most unique feature of Love in the Time of Revolution is to look at the stories of many anonymous characters who took part in the struggles. These Hong Kongers of varying backgrounds, because of their love of Hong Kong and their identification as Hong Kongers, took to the streets and risked their lives, forming the front line of the struggle.
Among these activists was a leader who, with his face hidden and in spite of the meticulousness of planning, encountered limitations in every stage of the anti-extradition protests; he did not give up because of this lack of immediate results, but bravely continued to lead comrades-in-arms in their struggles.
A deep impression was also made by a couple of young lovers who supported and encouraged each other. In the midst of danger, they still joked with each other, the young girl facetiously saying that the boy always rushed to the front line, and had a “hero complex”; the young boy joked that the young lady ran too slowly, and was a hindrance to them.
An old man who, in his youth, was member of a gang, also showed concern for the young people’s struggles. Not only did he take part in the protests, he also provided material aids, as well as sharing his experience with the young people from someone who had “been there”. He said that today’s Hong Kong Police is worse than the gang members of his youth.
Another unforgettable scene tells the story of a young female student of Nepalese origin. Speaking impeccable Cantonese, she joined the front lines of the protests, and became a comrade-in-arms, completing the rite of passage of her identification as a Hong Konger.
It is precisely these “ordinary” Hong Kongers, risking their lives, going through the baptism of tear gas, fulfilled their own sense of responsibility.
Among the many tumultuous episodes of that year, the focus of the film zeroed in on the events during “the siege of (Hong Kong) Polytechnic” in November. Director Twinkle Ngan spent days and nights with the students involved, recorded close-up the students’ tactics of using Molotov cocktails to repel the police’s armour cars. In addition, the film also documents the disagreements among the students, as well as how Hong Kong citizens rushed to render assistance during the 13 days when the police “sieged” the Polytechnic University.
Before the showing of the film, there was a prelude showing a documentary of the history of VSSDM, introducing the many events from the past 35 years, highlighting VSSDM’s will and determination to memorialize June 4th, and its long struggle against the Chinese Communist Party’s totalitarian regime.
Following the film, VSSDM chairperson Mabel Tung chatted with director Twinkle Ngan and Simon Lee, former columnist for Next Media and executive of Next Digital, in a question-and-answer session. Director Ngan explained the fate of several frontline characters in the film which the audience was most concerned about.