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Springtime for Hong Kong review

Springtime for Hong Kong ---by Moira Sullivan

 

Spring, seeing Hong Kong again is a well-crafted documentary short directed by Benoit Lelievre on how the third largest financial center in the world has rejuvenated itself in the midst of the challenging effects of the pandemic.  With skillfull editing and excellent cinematography the film is a bird’s eye view of Hong Kong with its many waterfront edifices and structures. The return to spring is hallmarked by tenacity and strength shown through a myriad of images and events. Certainly, most notable is a bronze statue of Bruce Lee on the Avenue of Stars that salutes the renowned Hong Kong Film Industry on the Victoria Harbour waterfront.

 

One of the guests has lived in Hong kong for over 20 years and takes us on a guided walking tour of rich experiences. The 19th century fire dragon dance designed to ward off the plague and pray for health, especially suits the covid-19 pandemic at present. Enterprises such as the Cantonese Opera are affected by the restrictions for public spaces and the actors find themselves initially without an audience and some succumb to testing positive.

Nevertheless, the artists continue to rehearse and work on refining their operas. Young stock brokers speak with potential buyers over the internet about options to invest money that will bring a profitable return. The thriving outdoor markets continue to turn out fresh produce for mask bearing patrons and workers, with the support of mainland China. There are also the indoor residents such as seniors living alone where volunteers visit and help them with light chores and provide companionship. One of them visits her grandfather who is a craftsman and others walk and distribute masks and other pandemic aids.

 

For someone who has never been to Hong Kong this documentary reveals that the city is modern, spectacularly clean, with functional high rises, green cityscapes, and walkways, the flow of people has decreased significantly during the pandemic. Outside the city borders are makeshift hospitals that were quickly erected.

Churches and schools are closed but as the health of city returns sports such as rowing and a special bun climbing competition for youth scaling a daunting pillar with sacks symbolize the return to vigor and vitality. Spring, seeing Hong Kong again is an excellent document on the cycle of positive change by people who dedicatedly strive to bring their city on line again.

 

Spring, seeing Hong Kong again

2022 • 26' • Benoit Lelievre

Synopsis:

Spring comes again, Hong Kong is suffering from a new round of pandemic. Alex, a New Zealander who has been in Hong Kong for 20 years, he traced the life marks of this land once again, and used images to record the stories of ordinary Hong Kong people. He let us see their perseverance and bravery, kindness and tolerance, solidarity and mutual assistance. In people's mind, spring still blossoms at the end of the dark tunnel in Hong Kong.

 

 

Credits:

Director: Benoit Lelievre

Producer: Luis Horat

Production Company: Star International Cultural and Media

 

 

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