Film Screening and Discussion:
Raise the Umbrellas
(Evans Chan, 2016, 117 min, Hong Kong, in Cantonese w/ English subtitles, Color, Blu-Ray)
-- Panel discussion to follow w/ dir. Evans CHAN, Rwei-ren WU (Academica Sinica), and Prof. Ho-fung HUNG (Sociology, Johns Hopkins); moderated by Prasenjit DUARA (East Asian Studies, Duke)!
Evans Chan’s 2016 documentary film, Raise the Umbrellas, explores the origin and impact of Hong Kong’s 2014 Umbrella Movement (雨傘運動) through the inter-generational lenses of three post-Tiananmen democratic activists – Martin Lee, founder of the Hong Kong Democratic party; Benny Tai, Occupy Central initiator; and Joshua Wong, the sprightly student leader.
Comprehensive and intimate, driven by stirring on-site footage in a major Asian metropolis riven by protest, Raise the Umbrellas reveals the Movement’s eco-awareness, gay activism, and burgeoning localism, laying bare the sheer political risk for post-colonial Hong Kong’s universal suffragists who are striving to define their autonomy within China.
- Evans CHAN, Director, Writer
Chan (陳耀成) is a New York-based critic and playwright and a leading Hong Kong independent filmmaker who has made four narrative features and eight documentaries
- Rwei-ren WU, Associate Research Fellow, Academica Sinica
Wu is an expert on comparative politics, Asian nationalism, political history and the history of political thought in modern Taiwan and Japan.
- Ho-fung HUNG, Associate Professor of Sociology, Johns Hopkins University
Hung’s scholarly interests include global political economy, protest, nation-state formation, and social theory, with a focus on East Asia.
Prasenjit Duara, Oscar L. Tang Professor of East Asian Studies, Duke University
About the Filmmaker:
"Evans Chan has made a singular contribution to Hong Kong cinema and at the same time a major contribution to the whole spectrum of contemporary film-making. His work achieves a seamless blend of fact and fiction to produce an innovative kind of essayistic cinema, driven equally by issues and by his own experiences and perceptions. He draws on everything from literature and political studies to journalism and social-activist campaigns for his subjects—and on everything from film history to performance art for his images. Best of all, he's rigorously non-conformist: he asks the awkward questions, probes the areas of sensitivity and challenges orthodoxies at every turn."
—Tony Rayns, filmmaker, critic and festival programmer
Film scholar Michael Berry has called Evans Chan陳耀成 (www.evanschan.com), “one of the most singularly innovative and diverse figures in the Chinese cultural world.” Chan is a New York-based critic, playwright, and one of Hong Kong’s leading independent filmmakers. He has made four narrative features and eight documentaries, including Crossings錯愛 (1994), Journey to Beijing北征 (1998), The Map of Sex and Love情色地圖(2001), Bauhinia紫荊(2002), The Life and Times of Wu Zhongxian吳仲賢的故事(2003), Sorceress of the New Piano靈琴新韻 (2004), and The Rose of the Name: Writing Hong Kong名字的玫瑰 —“董啟章”地圖 (2014). Raise the Umbrellas 撐傘(2016). Death in Montmartre 蒙馬特 · 女書 (2017). Chan’s award-winning films have been shown at the Berlin, Rotterdam, London, Moscow, Vancouver, San Francisco and Taiwan Golden Horse film festivals, among others.
As a playwright, Chan adapted the Eileen Chang novel, The Naked Earth赤地之戀, about China's entry into the Korean War, into an Off-Broadway production at New York’s Bank Street theatre in 2000; it was featured in the PBS documentary "Harmony & Peace: Asian Americans in New York." Chan's English adaptation of The Life & Times of Ng Chung Yin -- a "fascinating account" (Village Voice) of a Hong Kong radical -- was staged at the Theatre for the New City in 1998. Chan returned to the stage by developing his award-winnning Datong film into the libretto for Datong: The Chinese Utopia 大同, presented by the Hong Kong Arts Festival in 2015.
A contributor to Critique, Asian Cinema, Film International, Postmodern Culture, Cinemaya, and various anthologies, Chan is the editor/translator into Chinese of three books by Susan Sontag. Postcolonalism, Diaspora, and Alternative Histories: The Cinema of Evans Chan, a critical anthology about Chan’s works, edited by Tony Williams, is forthcoming from the Hong Kong University Press. Chan obtained his PhD in Screen Culture at Northwestern University.
Sponsors: The Asian/Pacific Studies Institute (APSI), the Program in the Arts of the Moving Image (AMI), the Global Asia Initiative (GAI), and the Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies (AMES).