Hailed as “the most comprehensive documentary” about Hong Kong’s 2014 Umbrella Movement, Raise the Umbrellas explores the Occupy protest’s origin and impact 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 — along with voices from “umbrella mothers,” student occupiers, star politicians, prominent media professionals, international scholars, and activist LGBT Canton-pop icons. Incisive and intimate, driven by stirring on-site footage in a major Asian metropolis riven by protest, Umbrellas reveals the Movement’s eco-awareness, gay activism, and burgeoning localism. Various anti-Occupy views, underscored by an interview with the pro-Beijing heavyweight Jasper Tsang, lays bare the sheer political risk for post-colonial Hong Kong’s universal-suffragist striving to define its autonomy within China.
Film scholar Michael Berry has called Evans Chan 陳耀成 “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 obtained his PhD in Screen Culture at Northwestern University.
Director Evans chan will be in attendance for the screening.