This story seems to have been swallowed up in protest noise but Yonfan’s ‘No. 7 Cherry Lane’ just won best screenplay at the prestigious Venice Film festival.
The last time a Hong Kong film was selected to be in the main competition for one of the big three festivals (Cannes, Venice and Berlin) was way back in 2011.
The film is a highly stylised love story set in the Hong Kong riots of 1967 but the film went into preproduction 5 years ago, so shouldn’t be seen as a comment on the current situation.
There is already some blowback on social media though, after the film’s flamboyant director Yonfan condemned ‘disruptive’ protesters in his acceptance speech:
“Hong Kong is turned upside down with the violence. We’ve lost all law-abidance, the freedom … and people run wild. And this force opens the Pandora’s Box, and all the evil came out from people, everywhere. I just hope there is still hope left in the Pandora’s Box.”Yonfan
Yonfan went on to say in an interview that he doesn’t even want his film to be shown in Hong Kong as the wrong type of attention might be difficult to deal with.
Disappointing to think that the continuing protests of a few discontents may well interfere with an award-winning Hong Kong film being shown here in Hong Kong —let’s hope that doesn’t happen.
Here’s the trailer —it looks stunning and just listen to that music. Early reviews suggest some weirdness, but it’s a movie I’d love to see: