A pro-Beijing newspaper has urged the government to ban the screening of a documentary about a violent campus clash between student protesters and police in 2019, saying the film may violate the national security law.

Wen Wei Po in an editorial on Thursday slammed the screening of Inside the Red Brick Wall, a documentary about the clashes between pro-democracy protesters and police at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU).

Behind the Red Brick Wall
Inside the Red Brick Wall. Photo: Ying E Chi Cinema, via Facebook.

The documentary is due for screening at the new Golden Scene Cinema in Kennedy Town next Monday, as part of the showcasing of winners at the Hong Kong Film Critics Society Awards.

The cinema added another show for March 21 after tickets for the original screening sold out online within hours. Staff members told HKFP the additional tickets also sold out “within a dozen minutes” on Friday.

The pro-Beijing newspaper criticised the movie’s portrayal of the Poly U siege, which lasted 12 days in November 2019. It urged the Office for Film, Newspaper and Article Administration (OFNAA) to ban such screenings.

Inside the Red Brick Wall blatantly spreads messages of police-hating, anti-society and even subversion. It has already allegedly violated the national security law , OFNAA should act decisively and ban the film from screening,” the editorial said.

The film was “filled with violence, sin, and abhorrent speech and action, and even inciting people to fight against the police and the SAR government, and spreading anti-country emotions.”

Golden Scene Cinema
Golden Scene Cinema. Photo: Candice Chau/HKFP.

The Kennedy town showing will be the documentary’s first in a commercial cinema. The OFNAA rated Inside the Red Brick Wall as a Category III adults-only film two hours before its screening at the Hong Kong Arts Centre last September, meaning underaged members of the audience had to get refunds at short notice.

The warning that Ying E Chi was required to add in the beginning of the film. Photo: Ying E Chi, via Facebook.

The movie’s distributor Ying E Chi was also required to add a warning prior to the screening in 2020, which read that some scenes “may constitute criminal offences,” and “may be unverified or misleading.”

HKFP has reached out to Golden Scene Cinema for comment.

Correction 14:00: A previous version of this article incorrectly referred to the movie name as “Behind the Red Brick Wall” as opposed to “Inside the Red Brick Wall.”

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Candice is a reporter at Hong Kong Free Press. She previously worked as a researcher at a local think tank. She has a BSocSc in Politics and International Relations from the University of Manchester and a MSc in International Political Economy from London School of Economics.