Government officials visited a union office to warn them against screening two movie documentaries about the Tiananmen Massacre.

Officials from the Office for Film, Newspaper and Article Administration (OFNAA) turned up at the office of the Hospital Authority Employees Alliance (HAEA) on Thursday and said that a film the union showed in a movie screening had violated the Film Censorship Ordinance.

OFNAA visit
HAEA livestream showing OFNAA officials and the police visiting their office on May 27, 2021. Photo: HAEA, via video screenshot.

Two members of staff from the OFNAA refused to show their identification and took photos of a HAEA worker and the office without permission, a union statement said. Police later confirmed that the pair were bona fide members of the OFNAA.

The film in question, I Have Graduated, was a documentary about life of university graduates after the Tiananmen Massacre. The HAEA organised a movie screening of the documentary last Saturday.

The OFNAA said that the documentary was not granted a certificate of approval in accordance with the ordinance, and any screening of the film in public space or venues that require membership might be in violation of the law, according to a letter given to the HAEA.

The office also warned HAEA about an upcoming showing on Saturday of another documentary about the Tiananmen Massacre, Conjugation, and said that the film has to receive approval prior to screening.

Police were called to the scene by the OFNAA officials, and asked whether the HAEA worker “opened the door” when the worker questioned why the officials could take photos of the private premises.

“We strongly condemn the OFNAA and the police’s handling [of the issue],” the HAEA statement read. “…the incident makes one question that the state machine is linking up to oppress civic attention to the June 4th incident.”

The union also said that they were only playing a YouTube video in the movie screening last Saturday, and questioned whether it was illegal to play online videos.

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Candice Chau

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.