Documentary “Red Brick Wall” Wins Hong Kong Film Critics’ Award

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The feature-length documentary “Inside the Red Brick Wall”, which chronicles one of the most dramatic chapters of the Hong Kong protests of 2019, won Best Picture at the 27th Hong Kong Film Critics Society Awards.

The award for Best Director went to Peter Chan Ho-sun for “Leap,” a sports drama based on the trajectory of China’s National Women’s Volleyball Team. Film star Gong Li, who plays legendary trainer Lang Ping, won the award for best actress, organizers of the award announced on Monday.

“Memories to Choke On, Drinks to Wash Them Down”, a four-part anthology film focusing on different facades of life in Hong Kong, won the award for best screenplay. The rewards were decided after six hours of deliberation and three ballots on Sunday. But critics have chosen not to present a Best Actor award due to the lack of narrative film releases in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Shot by an anonymous collective calling themselves the Hong Kong Documentary Filmmakers, “Red Brick” documents the 13-day standoff between police and protesters at Polytechnic University in November 2019 amid pro-democracy protests sparked by the extradition bill now withdrawn. There were 1,377 arrests.

Shot from the PolyU campus, “Red Brick” set a new milestone in documentary filmmaking in Hong Kong, the Film Critics Society said in a statement. They praised the film’s aesthetics, storytelling, and rational approach to the large amount of material collected under dangerous circumstances.

With “Leap,” critics said Chan had “gone above and beyond” by creating a gripping tale that spans four decades of the country’s volleyball history without letting the film become a piece of propaganda.

Five films “Leap,” “Memories,” “3cm,” “One Second Champion,” and “Keep Rolling,” a documentary about veteran filmmaker Ann Hui directed by Man Lim-chun, made the list of annual critics’ recommendations.

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