Indie Focus 2019 Brings Québécois Independent Cinema to Hong Kong
Why We Recommend it
The Hong Kong Independent Film Festival, co-organised by art house movie production organisation Ying E Chi and the Consulate General of Canada in Hong Kong, explores Québécois independent cinema through 11 Quebecois classics – some being restored treasures.
Quebec, the largest province of Canada, has maintained its own language—Quebec French—due to its historical background and the will of its people. Quebecers value freedom and dignity. Despite the omnipresence of Anglophone influence, Quebec has its own distinct cultural identity with strong ties to its French colonial past. It also has a long tradition of filmmakers who insist on using their own “dialect” to tell local stories about the lives and changes in their society. Quebecois films stand out modestly with great quantity and quality, especially their animations and documentaries, one of the origins of direct cinema. Numerous renowned filmmakers contribute to sustaining the Canada film industry.
To look at them on the surface, Hong Kong and Quebec would seem to have little in common. Asia and Canada couldn’t be more distinct physically, socially and culturally, despite the appearance of Queen Elizabeth II on some coins and notes. “Hong Kong and Quebec, however, do have their similarities as cultural and linguistic outliers within a larger state. Where Quebec has been historically vocal and politically active with regards to its nationhood, Hong Kong’s awakening has been more recent as well as more low-key in many ways, including in its cinema,”writes Elizabeth Kerr Zolima CityMag’s contributor on cinema.
At Indie Focus 2019, a line-up of thought-provoking films are featured under various categories, including independent auteurs, political resistance, secularisation and tradition, and disillusionment – all highlighting political issues and cultural identities which are the crux of Quebec’s people and films.
The screenings are companioned by talks by foreign film critics, including former president of the Quebecois Association of Film Critics Claire Valade, as well as the full professor the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema at Concordia University Peter Rist.
Please note that Those Who Make Revolution Halfway Only Dig Their Own Graves is classified as a category-III film. Most films are in Latin, French and/or English; Chinese and/or English subtitles may be provided. Please refer to HK Indie Film Festival for the details of individual films.