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Act III: Militant Cinema – Taking Back the Legislature + Conversation
Institute of Contemporary Arts
The Hong Kong Legislative Council building is sprayed with black Chinese writing and portraits of members of the Council. An assembly of press in hardhats record the spectacle.
Taking Back the Legislature, dirs. Hong Kong Documentary Filmmakers, Hong Kong 2020, 47 min., Cantonese with English subtitles

Made by an anonymous collective, this vital film documents a single day in Hong Kong’s 2019 protests against China. It’s screening at the ICA as part of (G)Round Up!, a special weekend of events co-curated by the Paris-based cinema collective La Clef Revival.

In spring 2019, thousands of mostly young Hong Kong citizens rose up in protest against a new extradition law imposed by China, a law that appeared to jeopardise Hong Kong’s independence. Matters came to a head on 1 July, when as many as 550,000 people joined a protest rally, and protesters stormed the Legislative Council complex, making headlines worldwide.

Anonymous activists filmed the run-up to the assault from the inside, and their footage shows a divided corps of protestors: one group taking a combative attitude, the other fearing arrests and casualties. The Hongkongers’ collective chaos and despair about the future is all too tangible in fast-paced video shot on the front line – edited together into this urgent and turbulent documentary.

All films are ad-free and 18+ unless otherwise stated, and start with a 10 min. curated selection of trailers.

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