The 2019 uprising in Hong Kong was a breath-taking and ultimately tragic example of a pro-democracy struggle in the face of an authoritarian regime. In Faceless, an intimate documentary film by director Thomas Fok, four anonymous – and young – protesters take up the fight to safeguard their way of life and individual freedoms from the Goliath that is China.
Hong Kong’s unique history has been fraught with conflict since it was a British colony from 1841 until 1997 when it was returned to Chinese rule. Under the handover agreement, Hong Kong was promised autonomy for 50 years through 2047 but this promise has slowly been forgotten as Beijing intervenes more and more in the city’s affairs. Citizens protested against this in 2014’s Umbrella Movement which sought to block China from pre-screening candidates for Chief Executive. Then, Beijing passed a new National Security Law which included extradition laws that threatened to send Hongkongers to mainland China for actions allowed under the original handover agreement, leading to further civil unrest and protests.
It’s within this context that our four faceless protesters are introduced; they wear masks, helmets and protective gear not only to protect themselves physically but also from getting identified by authorities. Each protester has a story: The Artist, The Believer, The Daughter and The Student. All have different backgrounds but share the same conviction: they will never yield to an oppressive government or surrender their rights and freedoms with no resistance.
Faceless allows us access into the inner workings of these brave protesters’ struggle as they attempt to preserve life as they know it in Hong Kong. It is vital for viewers around the world to witness what is really taking place behind-the-scenes so that we can better understand how we can help support those in Hong Kong fighting so hard for their autonomy amidst an authoritarian regime. Watch Faceless and be inspired by these courageous souls who are putting everything on the line in an effort to create a better future for generations yet unborn.