New film 'Cockroach' by Ai Weiwei documents 2019 Hong Kong protests
14 December 2020
Ai Weiwei’s latest documentary, Cockroach (2020), will be released on Friday 18 December via Alamo Drafthouse, and available to stream via their Alamo On Demand service. The film follows the protests in Hong Kong from February 2019, after its government proposed a bill which would have allowed extradition of criminal suspects from Hong Kong to face trial in mainland China. The controversial bill sparked immediate outrage over widespread fear of arbitrary detention and politically motivated trials that would decimate Hong Kong’s autonomy. Anti-bill protests escalated into pro-democracy demonstrations.
Cockroach, filmed during the height of the protests, captures the extraordinary intensity of an unprecedented era in Hong Kong’s history. Spanning the evolution of the protest movement, it captures street demonstrations, police suppression and violence, and key events such as the multi-day siege of Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Interviews with Hong Kongers feature activists, protestors, politicians, ordinary citizens, and policemen. Prominent legislators, lawyers and activists articulate the perils of intensifying assaults on freedoms and rule of law.
On 19 December at 3pm EST, Alamo Drafthouse will also host a watch party and question and answer session.