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"Lessons in Dissent" Documentary Screening and Q&A with Director

The UCLA Center for Chinese Studies presents a documentary screening by Matthew Torne on "Lessons in Dissent," which tells the story of a generation of Hong Kongers dedicated to creating a new more democratic Hong Kong.

February 24, 2015 7:00pm to 9:00pm

Filmed over 18 months, Lessons in Dissent is a kaleidoscopic, visceral experience charting rise a new generation of Hong Kong democracy activists. Dedicated to stopping the introduction of National Education, a showdown with the government seems inevitable for 15 year old schoolboy Joshua Wong. Meanwhile classmate Ma Jai fights political oppression on the streets and in the courts.
Catapulting the viewer on to the streets of Hong Kong and into the heart of the action. The viewer is confronted with the oppressive heat, the stifling humidity and air thick with dissent.

The blurb on the movie used by HKIFF is:

Hong Kong’s simmering identity crisis takes centre stage in Matthew Torne’s Lessons in Dissent, a riveting documentary about two secondary school classmates risking their futures for democracy. While Scholarism founder Joshua Wong becomes a media celebrity for his eloquent objections to National Education in schools, dropout Ma Jai is jailed and may be prosecuted for desecrating the flag. Lessons in Dissent chronicles the decisions and obstacles faced by these youngsters, and their hopes for Hong Kong as it races towards its uncertain future.

Director Matthew Torne moved from Beijing to Hong Kong in 2003 amid the chaos of the SARS outbreak and the turmoil of the Article 23 controversy. He immediately fell in love with the Hong Kong and has been studying its politics ever since. In 2010 he completed a Masters degree at Oxford University on Hong Kong’s post-1997 democratic development. Before making LESSONS IN DISSENT, Matthew worked as an Associate Producer on ENEMIES OF THE PEOPLE, a Sundance film festival winning documentary, about the Khmer Rouge. LESSONS IN DISSENT was three years in the making and premiered at the 2014 Hong Kong International Film Festival.

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