Cannes to screen controversial HK film: Variety

Variety magazine reported on Thursday that the Cannes Film Festival plans to screen ‘Revolution of Our Times’, about the Hong Kong protests in a decision that’s expected to anger the central and Hong Kong governments.

Variety reported that the organisers had timed the screening for Friday, when the trio of mainland Chinese films had already played so it would be too late to withdraw them in protest.

Beijing was angered earlier this year after Anders Hammer’s documentary on the anti-government protests in 2019, ‘Do Not Split’, was nominated for an Oscar, and for the first time in more than half a century, the Academy Awards were not screened in Hong Kong.

The central government was also angered by four nominations this year for Chinese-born director Chloe Zhao, who’s been accused of criticising China.

‘Revolution of Our Times’ was made by Kiwi Chow, and focuses on the now-withdrawn Extradition Bill which sparked widespread protests, and on the enactment of the National Security Bill last year.

Chow thanked Cannes organisers for holding the world premiere of his documentary, and said it would be a comfort to many Hongkongers living in fear.

Variety predicted that Cannes decision to screen the film would – at the very least – trigger a diplomatic complaint from the central and Hong Kong governments.