A Documentarian’s Observation – Long Hair Revolution from 2004 to 2019

 

Long Hair 長毛 梁國雄 2019 on RTHK Headliner 頭條新聞

Long Hair 長毛 梁國雄 2019 on RTHK Headliner 頭條新聞

*** New video to watch with added English subtitles ***

Long Hair 長毛 梁國雄 Leung Kwok-hung kindly gave me permission to follow and film him for about a month in 2004 for my debut documentary film Long Hair Revolution (2005). Now almost 15 years later in 2019, it has been a pleasant surprise and a bit emotional for me to watch the RTHK Headliner 頭條新聞 segment 【聰吧!新中年!】抗爭者言, 長毛 梁國雄) (episode 12, 愛民如子父母官 14/06/2019) featuring Long Hair.

I’ve spent quite a few hours over the last few weeks to video capture the Headliner 頭條新聞 segment【聰吧!新中年!】抗爭者言, translate the spoken Cantonese into English and lined up the English subtitle/Closed Caption text to exactly match the timing of the Chinese subtitle text on the clip. Feel free to let me know if you spot any clear mistakes and have suggestions to better translate things.

I’ve now uploaded my English subtitle enhanced clip onto YouTube, I hope you enjoy watching it: Long Hair – 2019 頭條新聞 RTHK Headliner

*** A Documentarian’s Observation – Long Hair Revolution from 2004 to 2019 ***

I originally planned to write a post call “A Documentarian’s Apology” (in the line of British mathematician G. H. Hardy‘s “A Mathematician’s Apology” (PDF). I’ve now tweaked the words a little and now writing “A Documentarian’s Observation” instead and here are a few of my observations:

  1. Interviewer 羅永聰 was able to ask Long Hair (LH) questions about his ex-wife because they have known and interacted with each other for years. Looking back, it would be very gossipy and uncomfortable for me to ask LH about his ex-wife then and even now 15 years later. I’m glad that Law asked and we got to learn a bit more about that side of LH.
  2. Long Hair’s home was another place that I felt a bit too nosy for me to ask to follow him to film in 2004. In hindsight I wish I had but then I can’t turn back time. Making a documentary is about doing what I can and cannot do. What I couldn’t or felt uncomfortable to do things that could jeopardize the sense of trust between me and LH. His home was one of those places that I instinctively set as “out of bound” for me to film.
  3. Paradoxically, LH has become even more of a statesman (at least in my eyes) in 2019 compare to previous times I’ve seen him on TV or video after he got DQ (disqualified) unjustly by the government.
  4. Hearing LH said in the Legislative Council chamber: “夕陽無限好, 只是近黃昏” “不如欣賞一下…” (“The setting Sun’s endlessly endearing… But the light of Day is disappearing!” “why not admire it a little …”) made me feel sad.
  5. While it is good to see LH in reasonably good health, at different places in the short clip, LH seems also visibly aged and much more tired (definitely compare to 15 years ago but even compare to 2-3 years ago). It makes me feel sad to see his physical health wanes a bit.
  6. (20190704 new update) When I filmed Long Hair Revolution (2005), I felt almost completely safe at all times except, as mentioned in the past, when I was detained briefly at the immigration queue coming back to Hong Kong from Long Hair’s Macau protest trip. If I were making a documentary today in 2019 (which I am NOT), I would likely have gone into the LegCo to record and witness as HKFP report “The writing on the wall: Understanding the messages left by protesters during the storming of the Hong Kong legislature“. If I had gone in LegCo (which I have not), I would have felt totally safe with the protestors (as fellow documentarian Lynn Lee said so well in her Facebook post), unfortunately, I would NOT feel safe at all with the HK police knowing their brutalities. Nor would I feel safe in rally organized by pro-police/pro-government protestors who are often violent even as they claim to be protesting against “violence”.
  7. Thats it for now. I may add more later.

References

Note1: Segment description via RTHK 頭條新聞 第12集—愛民如子父母官 14/06/2019:
//【聰吧!新中年!】抗爭者言
這個星期,很多人都在抗爭,而人群中一定找到他的踪影—長毛,大半生都在抗爭的梁國雄。三十年前,大家都覺得這個人激進得可怕,今天,有人罵他「左膠」,他自己會如何看待這大半生的事業,今年63歲的他,會有退下來的一天嗎?
「成個政治制度,若果你漠視大多數人的權利,大多數人遲早會出聲。」
「DQ、補選失利、戰友入獄、送中…一浪接一浪,我無話可說,社會已變得毫無規則。」
「夕陽無限好,只是近黃昏…」//

Note2: Julian Law Wing Chung (羅永聰) (an older English bio of Law at Reuters Institute) was most known for being former Financial Secretary John Tsang‘s political assistant and Law also quit his job to help run Tsang‘s election campaign for the Chief Executive of HKSAR which Tsang ultimately lost to Carrie Lam.

Last update: 20190711

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