DEMOCRACY: Hong Kong faces the dawn of sovereignty
Dieter Wieczorek
Wieczorek is a film critic and regular contributor to Modern Times Review.
Published date: March 16, 2020

What brings 2 million people from a population of 7,3 million to the streets, fighting for democratic elections? What leads students to kill themselves as a symbolic act for their desire for sovereignty? What makes Hong Kong’s inhabitants so special in sending out a global message on the worth of democracy, while other society’s democracies fall into recession, often even unnoted?

The 2020 International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) offered a large «Focus» program with over 40 historical and actual works, to reconstruct the phenomena of Hong Kong. One of them, We Have Boots by Evans Chan, offers a huge quantity of information from an inside view, bringing key figures, who – this needs to be pointed out – don’t want to be leaders, in front of the camera.


First, let’s remember that Hong Kong is the most populated territory in the world with 6763 hab./km2 (2017). It’s also the 9th most unequal «country» in the world having the most expensive housing market nine years in a row. In 2018, a 4-bedroom house became the most expensive such home in the world, sold for $446 million.

Tens of thousands of families live in cramped rooms about the size of a parking space, with lower-class people managing different jobs simultaneously, adding time needed to study for some of them. With this, Hong Kong is confronted with a politic praxis of non-sustainability.

On the other side, China’s propaganda already starts to alarm against «universal» western values, calling them a time bomb. Hong Kong’s relative sovereignty starts to, even for China’s mainland intellectuals, be a model to follow. China’s strategy over the last years was not to answer any political liberation request through simultaneously rising political and social pressures. The candidates for Chief Executive started to not be freely elected anymore, as guaranteed to the British government during its passing over the administration power to

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