Movie Reflection: 0506HK

On Friday, July 6th, Richard, my brother and I went to see the world premiere of LA Indie filmmaker Quentin Lee’s personal documentary, 0506HK. I had never heard of Quentin prior to this, the second film I saw that week as part of the Hong Kong Handover 10-year Anniversary retrospective at the Vancouver International Film Centre.

Quentin’s story is pieced together with interview footage collected over the span of two years (hence the 05 and 06 in the title) with various friends and acquaintances of his working in the cultural industries in Hong Kong. There’s a lot to love in the film for me – so many things resonate, even as the details between Quentin’s life and my own may vary a little. I particularly echo his concerns at feeling connection to Hong Kong as a place, yet harbouring fears about the political climate. I take my position as an outsider very seriously, and though I am definitely not as vocal about it as I could be, it is important enough to me that I worry about it.

Quentin also articulated very well the ever-present insecurity about what being in Hong Kong would mean for creative expression and one’s artistic voice. I definitely don’t feel like the nebulous semi-job description I have in my head would be at all supported or nurtured in Hong Kong. At the same time, the movie did an excellent job of presenting people who were working and succeeding in the cultural industries, and who seemed fairly content to be doing what they were doing where they were doing it. I’ve never been exposed to that and getting that side of the story was a real breath of fresh air, even if only a very tiny contingent of them were outside the mainstream.

I feel a little closer to being 1.75th-generation rather than one-point five, seeing as I came to Vancouver much younger than others (like Quentin and my brother) who have the more tangible memories and experiences of being 10 year-olds in Hong Kong than I do, having left before my fifth birthday. Canada’s made my thinking vocabulary, my sense of fairness, my messed-up creative process, my faith in dialogue. Hong Kong only really had a go at my eating habits. Quentin also had a thread in the film about the “What if we never left Hong Kong?” scenarios, which my mother sometimes lets me in on when speaking with me. For my part, I can hardly imagine it. I can hardly imagine growing up physically different in such a conformist society that looks so disdainfully at difference.

Quentin’s got a blog over at AliveNotDead.com, an artist community site. Best of luck to him and the screening of his film in Hong Kong. I shall have to make a point of hunting down his other work at some point.

One Comment

  1. Hi Quinn,

    I just want to thank you for your wonderful entry/review. I really appreciate the intelligence of your writing and your kind support. I’ve quoted you on my blog… hope it’s cool.

    Quentin

    Posted July 18, 2007 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

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