Learning Cantonese: 周冠威 Kiwi Chow “How much are you willing to sacrifice for your home, Hong Kong?”

Kiwi Chow has been in the news recently because of his new film, Revolution of Our Times. This 4-minute video about him was made by Ming Pao in May 2020. You can watch the video here.

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周冠威:《十年 ● 自焚者》係個問題 | 問香港人,你願意為香港 | 呢個家願意犧牲幾多?| Kiwi Chow: Ten Years, Self-immolator is a question | Asking the question, “How much are you willing to sacrifice for your home, Hong Kong?”

Caption: 文化後浪 | Cultural Successors

Caption: 唔好睇死香港 | 唔好睇死自己 Don’t Give up on Hong Kong | Don’t Give Up on Your Self

Caption: 周冠威 Kiwi Chow 執導《十年 ● 自焚者》| 近作:《幻愛》| 金像獎最佳導演提名 Kiwi Chow is the director of Ten Years, Self-immolator | Most recent film: Beyond the Dream | Nominated for the Hong Kong Film Award for Best Director

Caption: 重睇《十年》唔好睇死香港 | After Watching Ten Years Again, I Don’t Give up on Hong Kong

周冠威:幾年前我拍《十年 ● 自焚者》| 隔咗一段時間我睇翻《十年 ● 自焚者》 | 我好深刻感受到係時代已經比我想象嘅更差 | 其中一個畫面講緊一嘅防暴警察 | 用個警棍去撲我嘅主角 | 我同攝影師都有一啲嘅爭辯 | 使唔使拍咁誇張呀?| 但係好可悲 [睇] // 過去一年 | 呢一啲咁嘅畫面係不停我哋新聞裏邊 [去] 出現 | 《十年 ● 自焚者》係個問題 | 問香港人,你願意為香港 | 呢個家願意犧牲幾多?

● 防暴警察 fòhng4 bouh6 gíng2 chaat3 = riot police | ● 警棍 gíng2 gwan3 = a truncheon; a police baton | ● 撲 (or 㩧) bōk1 = to hit on the head | ● 攝影師 sip3 yíng2 sī1 = photographer; cinematographer | ● 爭辯 jāng1 bihn6 = argument | ● 可悲 hó2 bēi1 = sad; lamentable

Several years ago, I made Ten Years, Self-immolator. After a certain amount of time, I watched it again. What made a deep impression on me is the fact that the period was even worse than I had imagined. There is a scene in it dealing with some anti-riot police who are beating our main character with their truncheons. I even had some arguments with the photographer about this. Was it really necessary to film the scene so violently [咁誇張]? The sad thing is that when we look back over the past year, scenes of this kind have been constantly appearing in our news [programs]. Ten Years, Self-immolator is a question | Asking the question, “How much are you willing to sacrifice for your home, Hong Kong?”

【1:00】19年嘅呢場運動 | 我見到好多人為香港犧牲 | 甚至比你想像中嘅 | 更加有强大嘅意志去走出 | 你可以走上街頭 | 可以為啲公義嘅價值去發聲 | 為真相去抗衡 | 好多人話,呢啲年輕人係買唔到樓哇 | 或者係生活條件唔係咁優越啦 | 噉所以去抗爭去打平 | 唔係囉 | 睇香港嘅法治越嚟越低落 | 佢睇香港嘅自由越嚟越 [遭] 鉗制 | 我哋嘅和平游行示威嚴重地俾打壓 | 我唔知道將來會點 | 但我好相信有好多嘅可能性 | 因我曾經睇死我自己 | 但係我睇錯咗 | 我以前係一個學業成績唔夠理想 | 去讀演藝學院嘅人 | 但我好想讀電影學院 | 但我讀唔到 | 我睇死我自己 | 噉我經歷俾到我就係 | 人真係有好多可能性 | 你唔好咁自大去睇死你自己啦

● 意志 yi3 ji3 = will | ● 發聲 faat3 sēng1 = (?) | ● 抗衡 kong3 hàhng4 = to contend with | ● 法治 faat3 jih6 = rule by law | ● 鉗制 kìhm4 jai3 = to clamp down on; to suppress | ● 演藝 yán2 ngaih6 = the performing arts | ● 自大 jih6 daaih6 = self-important; arrogant

[During] the [protest] movement of 2019, I saw many people make sacrifices for Hong Kong and even to make a stand [走出嚟] with a stronger will than you could have imagined. You could take to the streets. You could speak out for the value of justice [or] contend for the truth. Many said that the reason these young people went out to struggle for fairness [爭去打平] was because they couldn’t afford to buy their own home or because their living conditions were not as good [as others]. That’s not true. In their eyes, the rule of law in Hong Kong was getting weaker and weaker, while freedom in Hong Kong was being clamped down on more and more. Our peaceful demonstrations were severely repressed. I have no idea what the future will be like, but I firmly believe that there are a great number of possibilities. [I say this] because I once gave up on myself. But I was wrong. I was once someone who went and studied at the Academy for the Performing Arts and whose results were far from ideal. I really wanted to study at the Film Academy, but I couldn’t manage to get in. I gave up on myself. My personal experience [taught me] that any person has many possibilities. You shouldn’t be so arrogant as to give up on yourself.

【2:00】你唔好 [咁] 自大,你唔係上天 | 你唔好睇死香港啦 | 當人睇一樣唔睇死嘅時候 | 你就覺得有盼望

● séuhng5 tīn1 = to go up into the sky | ● 盼望 paan3 mohng6 = to hope; to wish

Don’t be so arrogant or you won’t reach the heights [上天]. Don’t give up on Hong Kong. When a person doesn’t give up on something, then you will feel that there is still hope.

Caption: 近作《幻愛》| 相信自己可以改 | His Most Recent Film Beyond the Dream | Believe that One Can Change

過去一年 | 喺 *hei 香港發生嘅嘢 | 我覺得係整體上嘅集體嘅創傷後遺症 | 我哋| 喺 *hei 過去一年釋放咗好大嘅情緒 | 我哋需要去梳理 | 而希望達致一啲嘅療癒 | 我係一個電影導演呢 | 我當然相信電影嘅力量 | 我希望我嘅電影係可以拍到多點人嘅善良 | 去梳理我哋嘅過去 | 我希望《幻愛》[呢個] 電影都間接上可以彌補到呢個位置 | 呢套係一套愛情片 | 裏邊所探討嘅就係 | 每一個人都有一啲嘅過去,[一啲嘅] 情緒要去梳理、要去療癒 | // 一個更加新嘅路 | 經過同人同人嘅關係去療癒自己、去療癒對方 | 原來我嘅情緒唔單止係我自己一個 | 我唔孤單嘅 | 我同好多人同樣

● 梳理 sō1 léih5 = (?) to put order into; to organize | ● 善良 sihn6 lèuhng4 = good and honest; kindhearted | ● 間接 gaan3 jip3 = indirect | ● 彌補 nèih4 bóu2 = to make up; to remedy; to make good | ● 探討 taam3 tóu2 = to inquire into; to probe into

What has happened in Hong Kong over the past year is I think as far as the whole is concerned [整體上] a collective post-traumatic disorder. Over the past year, we have released a great amount of emotion. We need to work through this [梳理] in the hope of reaching some degree of healing. I am a film director. Of course, I believe in the power of film. It is my hope that my films will spark kindheartedness in more people, and help us to work through our past. I hope the film Beyond the Dream can, indirectly, help to make good in this regard [呢個位置]. It is a love film and what is probed in it is that everyone has a past, has some emotions that need to be worked through. Only then can one walk a whole new path [更加新嘅路]. By mean of relationships with others one can heal oneself and the other. My emotions it turns out don’t belong to me alone — I am not alone. There are a lot of other people like me.

【3:00】一個精神病患者 | 佢已經康復咗 |佢睇完《幻愛》同我講翻 | 我睇呢套戲,我多咗盼望 | 我就係呢種感覺 [] | ,我希望睇呢套戲 | 係俾到人有力量 [囉] | 將來我唔知發生 [緊] 啲乜嘢 | 你唔好睇外在環境得[與] 唔得 | 你睇定唔啱 | 我希望懷住呢種可能性 | 去繼續去走 | 你有啲 你追求嘅價值你好 believe [相信] 嘅 | 你繼續去啦

A person who had suffered from a mental illness and later recovered said to me after watching Beyond the Dream, “Watching this film has given me more hope”. This is the kind of feeling I am talking about. That is, I hope that watching this film will give people strength. I have no idea what will happen in the future. Don’t worry about whether the external environment is OK or not. Worry about what is right. I hope that by holding on to this sense of possibility I can continue to go on. You have values you pursue which you believe in: keep going then.

Caption: 不要看行不行,要看對不對 (《十年 ● 自焚者》)| It’s not a matter of whether it’s feasible. It’s whether it’s right