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1. Please introduce the director to the Korean audience
Chung Hong IU is an independent film director based in Hong Kong. After graduated, he worked in the Civil Human Rights Front for two years. Since then, he has a vocation for social movement and film-making. He is also an amateur photographer. His photography works were exhibited in numbers of galleries in Europe and Asia.
2. Please introduce your film.
After the Riots, Before the Liberation is an independent short film about the protest in 2019 in Hong Kong. It is made with mixed media, film and digital.
3. How was the process of creating the film?
One day in Sep or Oct 2019, there was no transport after a strike or a protest. I walked in the street. The street after protest is a mess. I found that the stuffs in the streets after protests had changed our urban landscape. Those objects recorded what had happened in the city and witnessed our beliefs. At that time, I started taking photos to record the things. I find that when we gaze at an image, but not just a glance, the image tells us more.
I thought of the Hong Kong avant-garde author Mr. Liu Yichang’s short novel, The Riot, written in 1968. It is a nouveau roman short story about the riots in Hong Kong in 1967. In the novel, the objects in the street are personified to tell about the riots. And I adopted the form in my short film.
4. Is there a reason why you made your work with essay film rather than fiction or documentary?
It is a tough time for Hongkongers. It is complicated. It is not easy to tell with merely fiction film or documentary. I want to talk about the thoughts behind. That’s why I choose essay film.
Before working on this projection, I had written two short fiction films. But none of them can apply for funding successfully. Therefore I tried to made a film in a very low budget way and lack of resources. It is just a “one-man band”, with a camera, mobile earphones for sound recording and a laptop for editing. And all the post-production is done in my room, that’s why a critic said it was just like the “bedroom musician” in 1980s-90s.
5. Who is the ‘I’ that is replaced by various things here?
The “I” is various objects, of cause, personalized. I wondered what if the stuffs were actually supporting the protest.
Ironically, the government cared only about objects, e.g. they always emphasized the unscrewed railings, vandalized traffic lights and ticket gates in the metro stations, etc. But how about the people?
6.The narration was written from two perspectives, was there any difficulty in writing the work? I wonder if you actually live and write in Hong Kong.
Yes, I live and write in Hong Kong. Some of the script are my daily reflection and feeling posted in my Facebook.
It is not easy to write in both perspectives. And I always question if I have written the pro-establishment camp too simple.
7.I've heard that the daily repression in Hong Kong is getting worse and organizations are disbanding. I've also heard that Hong Kong citizens are considering immigration a lot. Did this affect your work?
Yes, many people are considering immigration. It is sad but understandable.
The situation is becoming worse. Some NGOs I worked with disband. Civil society in Hong Kong is facing the biggest challenge.
And so are the art and culture. When I am answering this interview, new film censorship law is being proposed. But even without the new law, they used administrative means to prohibit screening in the past few months even the films had not been banned. And I don’t think my short film could be screened in Hong Kong.
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