Above is the trailer for the Hong Kong movie, Ten Years, which just won the best film category at the city's film awards. The film comprises five short stories that show a future in which Hong Kong has been culturally and politically taken over by the mainland. After playing to packed audiences in Hong Kong late last year, it was pulled from theatres in January after being lambasted by the Global Times. The timing, likely far from coincidental, raises yet more questions about the autonomy of the Hong Kong's government.
Clearly the film depicts some real angst in Hong Kong regarding its political — but also cultural — future. Reading about it spurred me to revisit some of The Interpreter's coverage of the Umbrella Movement protests in late 2014. A few comments caught my eye, first from Julian Snelder regarding One Country, Two Systems:
It is worth considering that we are already almost 20 years into the 50-year 'One Country Two Systems' framework. We cannot imagine how China will look in 2047; yet on current trends its legal system will still be vastly different than Hong Kong's. Probably in another decade, the reality of that impending collision will start to sink in. History may record Occupy Central as the first tremor of concern.
In another post, Merriden Varrall talked about Beijing's patience, both in dealing with the protesters at the time, but ultimately also with Hong Kong:
From Beijing's point of view, the protesters need to understand that both aspects of the 'one country, two systems' formulation are equally important. Since the patriotic education campaign launched after the Tiananmen events in 1989, most average mainland Chinese people have internalised the understanding that challenging the Chinese Communist Party's authority is not only futile but ultimately undesirable. It seems the Chinese authorities are presuming that, over time, this will become equally true of Hong Kong.