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Cannes Shockingly Screens Hong Kong Protest Doc In Last Minute Program Addition

Cannes Revolution of Our Times
Thomas Au (CC-BY-2.0)

The Cannes Film Festival will take a diplomatic gamble by screening “Revolution of Our Times,” a secret documentary that depicts recent political and social unrest in Hong Kong.

As of this writing, details are conflicting as to the venue and audience that the film will be given. The Hollywood Reporter wrote that their correspondent “was among the approximately 10 people present at the discreet [Wednesday] afternoon showing.” That is seemingly the small selection of international press that were given what is being described as a “confidential” screening.

However, “Revolution of Our Times” is also reported as being given a screening slot of 11 a.m. on Friday. That screening is presumed to be for a larger audience. The festival requested that no news about the film be released until Thursday afternoon, Cannes time. As of that announcement, even the existence of the film was not publicly known.

“I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to Cannes. It is our honor to have the world premiere of ‘Revolution of our Times’ Hong Kong has been losing far more than anyone has expected. This good news will be a comfort to many HongKongers who live in fear; it also shows that whoever fights for justice and freedom around the world, are with us! And HongKongers are staying strong!” said director Kiwi Chow in an emailed statement.

The screening is anticipated to draw an assertive rebuke from Beijing. Chinese officials previously lashed out at the Academy of Motion Pictures for nominating 2020’s “Do Not Split,” a documentary short told from within the heart of the Hong Kong protests. In turn, Beijing cancelled the Chinese broadcast of the Oscars ceremony and media were ordered to downplay the event.

The particular ramifications that Cannes now faces from Beijing are left to be told. Stay tuned to this space for updates.

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