A state newspaper has criticised the independent Hong Kong film “Ten Years” as ridiculous, saying that it is spreading desperation.

The film predicts how Hong Kong may look in a decade’s time. It offers scenes such as shops accused of selling banned materials being attacked by uniformed army cadets, Mandarin as the dominant language and an activist self-immolating in a fight for Hong Kong independence.

In an editorial published on Friday, Global Times said that the film was ridiculous in the eyes of mainland people, and that the scenes it described would not happen in Hong Kong in 2025.

Ten Years. Photo: Ten Years.

“Most Hong Kong people would not believe Hong Kong would become so horrible. For example an actor of the film said in an interview that he did not believe that, but some Hong Kong people accepted the ‘self-scare’ provided by the directors,” the editorial read.

“But if the directors want to scare the public in Hong Kong and spread anxiety, they should think what consequences this will bring to Hong Kong, and the public should consider as well.”

The editorial also said some “opposition figures” had a tendency to make Hong Kong torture itself, to threaten China.

The film has been showing in cinemas for about a month and managed to attract HK$3 million in the box office, an outcome out of many expectations. An interview with the directors was published by CNN on Thursday.

But Global Times said the box office amount was little and hoped it reflected that the film only influenced a minority of people in Hong Kong.

“Those Hong Kong people should have the ability to reject the ‘virus of the mind’, that the excitement will pass, they will not act [in protest] following the film.”

Kris Cheng

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.