Raging Land 3: Three Valleys
HONG KONG / 2011 / Cantonese / Color / HDV (SD) / 310 min
Directors: Chan Yin Kai, Choi Yuen Villagers
Script, Photography, Editing, Sound: Chan Yin Kai
Producers: v-artivist, Supporting Group of Choi Yuen Village
In November 2008, it was announced that a small farming village in Hong Kong named Choi Yuen would be forced to move for the construction of a high-speed railway. This film is the last in a three-part series that has documented the resistance of the village’s citizens and their supporters continuously since 2009. In addition to everyday farm work, the villagers and their supporters debate how to build a new town where they will relocate. Their hearts are heavy as they prepare to abandon their hometown. In a painstakingly recorded final battle, the villagers confront their government as it demolishes their homes with bulldozers.
[Director’s Statement] These past few years I have not been a “director.” Rather, I have walked together with these villagers while holding a camera. In 2011, I published the following in an essay: *
“When I myself went into Choi Yuen Village with a camera, the villagers thought I was a reporter. I told them I was here to shoot a documentary (of course they might not understand what that meant back then), and besides having them interviewed throughout numerous occasions, I cooperated with them in different kinds of activities, from neighborhood researches to public activities and protests . . .
It was from then on they came to recognize me as someone who walked with them with a video camera, who was responsible for recording and conveying their voice to the public, and also the one who helped farming. Besides filming their activities as well as their daily lives, I would also show them the edited videos afterwards, and the videos would be re-edited according to their opinions. Repeating this process from time to time, together we thought about how to tell the story . . .
Wishing to happily, seriously and equally live with others, and to search for the freedom of being together, are perhaps my expectation for making a documentary, which is also the most important thing Mr. Ogawa and his teammates have taught me.”
Conflict and merger between the urban and the rural repeat in different ways from time to time—the images of the villagers in Sanrizuka, River Agano, and Magino Village are always in my mind.
Let’s encourage each other!
* Chan, Benny (2011). “Responsibility and Meaning” in Indie Focus—Ogawa Shinsuke. The Hong Kong Independent Film Festival 2011–12.
Member of v-artivist, an art group focusing on documentary and video education in Hong Kong. Chan Yin Kai began making documentaries and holding video education workshops while in university. From April 2009, he has spent all of his time in Choi Yuen Village to follow this issue with video. He produced three documentaries there, and is still following these villagers as they continue building their village. Raging Land 3: Three Valleys is his third feature length documentary.