Looking through My Fly's-Eye View: Chan Tze-woon's Documentary of the 2014 Umbrella Movement

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2 Citations (Scopus)


When pursuing a Master’s Degree in film production at the Hong Kong Baptist University, Chan Tze-woon made two short films, “The Aqueous Truth” (2013) and “Being Rain: Representation and Will” (2014). Both are mockumentaries about state conspiracy and are intended to challenge the lack of government transparency and accountability in Hong Kong. In September 2014, Chan picked up his camera to join and film the protests of young students and eventually filmed 1,000 hours’ worth of footage of the Umbrella Movement, from which he produced his first documentary, Yellowing (2016). In Yellowing, Chan forsakes the grand narrative of political and social interpretations, and shuns interviewing political activists or political celebrities who receive international media attention. His camera revolves around committed young rebels as individuals, catching their spontaneous responses and desires, idealisms and passions, hopes and fears, frustrations and contradictions, from a “fly’s-eye view.” This article explores how a documentarist attempts to see beyond the narrow vision of the particulars and contingencies of human actions. It discusses the ethics and politics of truth-telling in the reconstructed world of a documentary as found in many fly’s-eye-view accounts. The study reconsiders the provocative power of artifice and the authenticity of documentary-making.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-117
Number of pages29
Issue number42
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Literature and Literary Theory

User-Defined Keywords

  • documentary
  • historical film
  • identification
  • mockumentary
  • Umbrella Movement
  • Yellowing


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