Showing at 7pm on 28 October 2016 (Fri) @ CUHK Yasumoto International Academic Park LT4
This documentary explores what it is like growing up in an adult world through children’s eyes.
J SHEN and Jacky WONG are good friends, inseparable since they have first met in first grade. J was born to a single-parent family in Hong Kong, raised up by his Mainland-born mother in a small subdivided unit. In order to avoid leaving J home alone, his mother sends him to homes of his classmates in times of her leave to Mainland for visa-renewing. Despite of the fact that Jacky comes from a Vietnamese family, J is often placed under his family’s care; the two turn out to become close friends.
Every morning, J and Jacky walk together to Fresh Fish Traders’ School in Tai Kok Tsui, where they attend classes. Similar images of one taking care of another are not rare to find in the exclusive community of the grassroots. In the meantime, other classmates of them share the same life, including the Mainland-born trio of Frankie TUNG, Jimmy TAM, and Kiki WONG, a young girl who enjoys particular popularity in class. Hoping for better futures for their children, parents brought them to Hong Kong where they have no choice but to live in cramped and close quarters. The sudden change of environment forces children to re-identify themselves in face of the new culture and values. Is this an investment that will ultimately prove worthwhile?
What does “family” mean to these children? How do they perceive the hopes and dreams of their parents and the expectations of society to “success”? In return, will children’s expectations to their parents and society be heard and understood by the adults?
Even though life in poor environment and condition seems to have constrained possibilities, these children still aspire to spread their wings and fly up high. The kind of vitality children own is exactly what grown-ups might no longer desire or understand. Just as remarked in an ancient Chinese classic, “How does one understand the joy of fish, if one is not a fish?” Such is the tale woven through the running time of Fish Story.
About the Director
Born in Hong Kong in 1986, WONG Siu-Pong is a graduate of Hong Kong Shue Yan University’s Department of Journalism and Communication. A visual artist, writer, and musician, WONG’s previous documentary Back on the Street was screened at the Chinese Documentary Festival 2011, receiving a Special Mention. That same year, WONG received a grant from CNEX to shoot his second documentary Fish Story. In 2013, the film became a selection of Taipei Documentary Film Festival, and has later made him a nominee director of New Talent Award in HKAFF. Fish Story then won the award of Best Documentary in FIRST International Film Festival in 2014. WONG’s latest documentary Connection was invited to showcase in the Venice International Architecture Exhibition in the same year.
In order to get a better education, Kelly immigrated to Hong Kong with her family when she was seven years old. Then, her father runs his business in Shenzhen, while her mother becomes a stay-at-home mom. Under her mother’s arrangement, it seems that all she could do in her everyday life is attending classes, practicing euphonium and playing table tennis. In the face of the coming entrance examination, could she receive the offer from her dream school? And will this intensive learning style give her a deserved reward?
About the Directors
ZHANG Jingjing and TAO Liang are alumni of the Department of Religious & Cultural Studies at CUHK. This short was produced in the course MA in Visual Culture Studies course Documentary Media.
TAO Liang is now production assistant at Glance Ltd.