Fear(less) and Dear

- HONG KONG / 2020 / Cantonese / Color / Digital File / 106 min

Director: Anson Mak
Appearances: Clara Cheung, Justin Wong, Cheung Yuen Man
Butoh: Vinci Mok
Photography: Wong Wai Nap, Anson Mak
Editing: Nose Chan, Anson Mak
Sound: Fiona Lee
Sound Design: Chan Sze Wah
Music: Square Fruit
Producer: Kiki Ho
Source, World Sales: First Light Images

Three artists, who are also parents. They are three out of millions who participated in the demonstrations following the Umbrella Movement. The director takes part as an artist herself, listening not only to their feelings, but committing her own to film as well. We catch a glimpse of the invisible, the erased, the unfilmed realities of today’s Hong Kong streets. What might appear far removed from previous accounts of the front lines in the struggle for democratization is revealed to be yet another of its battlefronts. They live their lives in post-2019 Hong Kong, as an intangible sense of fear lingers in the air. Their bodies are penetrated with their experiences of the democracy movement and their own artistic expressions.

[Director’s Statement] Passing the age of 50, I am more interested in people’s inner deep emotions, psychological conditions, and how they come about, thus to seek the possible ways out. Fear and fearless is not a matter of existence and non-existence, but an inner journey of exploration of the mind. During the process of exploration, the outside circumstances will be reflected inevitably. However, the outside phenomena is not the focus. The essence of the film is people’s mind.

Hongkongers have been experiencing extreme and traumatic situations for more than a year. It will take a long time to heal and resolve. Facing dictatorship, irrationality and the divide in society, the only way out is knowing and tuning our mind, plus offering love and compassion to ourselves and others. It might sound too sentimental yet indeed, it is the only way.

Regarding aesthetic exploration, there is ample room for experimentations merging documentary and experimental moving images, literature, performance, music and field recording (sound and image). This work attempts to put together thoughts and feelings, memories and imagination, personal and social/private and public experiences through the formal experimentations. In these interwoven forms of multi-dimensions, we can look at our own mind at various levels.

- Anson Mak

A researcher-artist specializing in moving image and sound. She currently works as Associate Professor in Academy of Visual Arts in Hong Kong Baptist University. She is especially interested in experimental ethnography. Her works have been shown in many international film festivals and exhibitions including the International Documentary Festival Amsterdam, Busan International Film Festival, Vancouver International Film Festival, Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival, Hong Kong International Film Festival, and International Short Film Festival Oberhausen. Her documentaries include One-Way Street on a Turntable (2007); A Map of Our Own: Kwun Tong Culture and Histories (2009); On the Edge of a Floating City, We Sing (2012); and From the Factories (2020).