Film The Future of the Past: Who Makes History?

Barbara © Christian Schulz / Schramm Film

Fri, 17.11.2017 -
Sun, 19.11.2017

Louis Koo Cinema, Hong Kong Arts Centre

2 Harbour Road, Wan Chai


Seven films from China, Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Hongkong and Germany, and a symposium with Jane Yu, Ross Chen and Nicolas Wackerbarth

In collaboration with Hong Kong International Film Festival Society / Cine Fan, the Goethe-Institut presents “The Future of the Past: Who Makes History?” , curated by film scholars from Germany and the presenters in Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, Korea and Japan. The selected films, in reproducing the vernacular memory in the everyday lives of ordinary people, reflect the truth of the past. These stories, of a Korean student soldier fighting for the Japanese army (THE SEA KNOWS); of a group of Hong Kong idealists advocating for socio-political reforms (ORDINARY HEROES); or of a young woman in East Germany, who hopes to reunite with her lover in West Berlin to escape from the totalitarian system of the GDR (BARBARA); all evoke a critical collective memory of the past, expanding the opportunity to contemplate the role of ordinary individuals in history.

The film scholars Jane Yu (Taiwan), Ross Chen (HK) and Nicolas Wackerbarth (Germany) will introduce the respective films and conduct a panel discussion.

17.11.2017 (Fri) 7:30 PM

The Ceremony © Oshima Productions Dir: Oshima Nagisa
Japan, 1971, 123 mins, 35mm
Cast: Kawarasaki Kenzo, Kaku Atsuko, Sato Kei

After WWII, Masuo and his mother return from Manchuria to the Sakurada family estate. As the heir to the family line, he is placed under the authority of his oppressive grandfather. Surrounded by death, disappointment and libidinal paralysis at multiple weddings and funerals, he reaches the depth of despair when being forced to go through a brideless marriage.

18.11.2017 (Sat) 2:30 PM

Barbara © Christian Schulz/Schramm Film Dir: Christian Petzold
Deutschland, 2012, 105 mins, DCP
Cast: Nina Hoss, Ronald Zehrfeld, Rainer Bock

It is East Germany, 1980. Barbara, a physician who hopes to reunite with her lover in West Berlin, is sent to a remote provincial hospital, under the supervision of the pediatrician Andre. While planning an escape, she gradually falls in love with Andre, leading to a dilemma whether to stay or leave.

18.11.2017 (Sat) 5:00 PM

Banana Paradise © CentralMotionPictureCompany © CentralMotionPictureCompany Dir: Wang Toon
1989, Mandarin, 145 mins, DCP
Cast: Doze Niu, Chang Shih, Zeng Qingyu

During the Chinese civil war in 1949, two Mainlanders join the Kuomintang army to get to Taiwan in hope of a better life. Using false identities, the one who is suspected of being a Communist spy is captured and tortured; the other who marries a widow takes her deceased husband’s role to find a job and raise a family. Forty years on when travel restriction is lifted, bigger secrets are unfolded as his son finds his paternal grandfather.

18.11.2017 (Sat) 8:00 PM
26.11.2017 (Sun) 8:40 PM

Dir: Chen Kaige
1993, Mandarin, 171 mins, DCP
Cast: Leslie Cheung, Gong Li, Zhang Fengyi

Chen Kaige’s melodrama about the lives of two Peking opera stars remains to date the only Chineselanguage film to win the Palme d’Or. Leslie Cheung gives extra poignancy to the mesmerizing character of Cheng Dieyi, who plays the concubine enamored with the “king”, but he doesn’t share his feelings and marries a prostitute. During five decades of upheaval and atrocities, Cheng holds tight on his faith and forbidden love.

19.11.2017 (Sun) 2:30 PM

Dir: Fruit Chan
1998, Cantonese, 128 mins, 35mm
Cast: Tony Ho, Sam Lee, Jo Kuk

A group of Hong Kong ex-soldiers of the British army, left penniless and jobless when the Brits disband the defense force, is compelled to join the gangster to rob a bank. Feeling threatened and betrayed by a world that has abruptly changed, these middle-aged men also get into trouble with the alienated teenagers who see no tomorrow.

19.11.2017 (Sun) 6:00 PM

Dir: Ann Hui
1999, Cantonese, 128 mins, DCP
Cast: Lee Kang-sheng, Anthony Wong, Rachel Lee, Tse Kwan-ho

Hong Kong in the 1980s, the years of living through social and political turmoil. Rising up against colonial rules, a group of idealists throw themselves into action and protests. An Italian priest-activist, a young woman campaigner, an ambitious politician whom she falls for, and her neighbor who fancies her, all are confronted with the reality of their vision, and crushed by the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown.

19.11.2017 (Sun) 8:45 PM

The Sea Knows © KoreaFilmArchive © KoreaFilmArchive Dir: Kim Ki-young
South Korea, 1961, 117 mins, DCP
Cast: Kim Wun-ha, Gong Midori, Lee Sang-sa

Among a group of Korean student soldiers receiving military training in Nagoya, Aroun rebels against the harsh treatment and marries a Japanese girl despite everyone’s objections. A large-scale US bombing, however, leaves their blissful life in ruins.