Northwestern Events Calendar


"Raise the Umbrellas" Documentary Screening and Q&A with Evans Chan, filmmaker and director

When: Tuesday, February 22, 2022
7:00 PM - 10:00 PM CT

Where: Swift Hall, 107, 2029 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Peter Carroll   (847) 491-2753

Group: East Asia Research Forum

Co-Sponsor: Center for Historical Studies
History Department

Category: Academic


Please join the East Asia Research Forum for a documentary screening with Evans Chan (NU, Screen Culture Ph.D., 2014). 

(USA/HD/color/117 min/2016; 
Cantonese/English/ Putonghua with English and Chinese subtitles

In 2018, Hong Kong’s 2014 democratic Umbrella Movement has been nominated for a
Nobel Peace Prize, and prosecution of protesting participants has intensified. Upon its
launching, Raise the Umbrellas has been hailed as “powerful” and “the most
comprehensive documentary" about this unique 79-day Occupy campaign on Chinese
soil. Yet it has become repeatedly the target of censorship.

Through vivid testimonies from key players such as Joshua Wong, the sprightly
student leader, Benny Tai, Occupy Central initiator, and Jimmy Lai, opposition media
magnate (now all in jail) as well as student occupiers, Raise the Umbrellas traces the
lineage of the massive Hong Kong protest to the global Occupy movement, 1989
Tiananmen, and its democratic struggles since British colonial days. Highlights range
from the Umbrella Movement’s eco-awareness and its burgeoning aspiration for
independence, to its empowerment of women -- “umbrella mothers” -- and the sexually
marginalized – activist LGBTQ Canton-pop icons Anthony Wong and Montreal-raised
Denise Ho. Incisive and intimate, driven by stirring on-site footage in a major Asian
metropolis riven by protest, Umbrellas includes anti-Occupy views by interviewing the
pro-Beijing heavyweight Jasper Tsang, who lays bare the sheer political risk for postcolonial
Hong Kong’s universal-suffragist striving to define its autonomy within China.



Evans Yiu Shing Chan ( is a critic, playwright, librettist and an 
independent filmmaker, who, said British critic Tony Rayns, "has made a singular 
contribution to Hong Kong cinema and…a major contribution to the whole spectrum of 
contemporary film-making." Chan’s four narrative features and eight documentaries include
Journey to Beijing (1999), The Map of Sex and Love (2001), Sorceress of the New Piano
(2004), The Rose of the Name (2014), and Death in Montmartre (2017). His directorial debut 
To Liv(e) (1991) was named by Time Out as one of the 100 Greatest Hong Kong Films. His 
docu-drama, Datong: The Great Society, received the 2011 Chinese-language Movie of the 
Year Award, presented by the maverick Southern Metropolitan Daily in China. Chan 
subsequently adapted his film into an opera libretto, Datong: The Chinese Utopia (2015), 
which was hailed as a “major new opera” by Bachtrack and toured London in July 2017. 
Chan’s award-winning films have been shown at the Berlin, Rotterdam, London,
Moscow, Vancouver, San Francisco and Taiwan Golden Horse film festivals, among others. 
A critical anthology about his work, Postcolonalism, Diaspora, and Alternative Histories: 
The Cinema of Evans Chan was published by the Hong Kong University Press in 2015. 
Evans Chan lives between Hong Kong and New York.

This event is co-sponsored by the Department of History and the Chabraja Center for Historical Studies.

Northwestern is closely monitoring developments related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and will follow local, state, and University guidelines for this event. All attendees will be required to have been fully vaccinated or have received a negative COVID test within 24 hours of the event start, as well as comply with all other University safety protocols that are in place at the time of the event. Participants unwilling or unable to abide by these requirements should not attend.



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