A screening of documentary “Vanished Archives” took place Oct. 27 at Harvard University.
Director Connie Lo researched the 1967 Hong Kong riots, which began as a labor dispute and escalated with demonstrators violently clashing with police. The Cultural Revolution was underway in China and some Hong Kong residents were sympathetic to Communist nationalism, in the face of British colonial rule. A total of 52 deaths and 802 injuries occurred during the riots. After the eight months of unrest, a number of Hong Kong residents chose to emigrate overseas.
“You stand in their shoes and feel what they feel,” Lo said. “We didn’t learn from history in Hong Kong.”
Lo chose “Vanished Archives” as her title, since many riot records were destroyed in 1997, when the handover of Hong Kong took place. She interviewed witnesses and traveled to the British National Archives for records.
Commentator Ching Cheong said, “There was an attempt to whitewash history, so the archives were destroyed. … The Cultural Revolution spilled over in Hong Kong and the British government helped suppress it. In 50 years, who will put up resistance?”
The documentary was screened at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on Oct. 28. For more information, visit www.vanishedarchives.org.
This post is also available in: Chinese