Northwestern Events Calendar


"We Have Boots" Documentary Screening and Q&A with Evans Chan, filmmaker and director

When: Wednesday, February 23, 2022
7:00 PM - 10:00 PM CT

Where: University Hall, 102, 1897 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 | 2020 | 129 min | In Cantonese & English with English & Chinese Subtitles | HD | Color

While harking back to Hong Kong’s Umbrella Movement of 2014, We Have Boots focuses on the post-Umbrella era of prosecution, political disqualification, and the resurfacing of Occupy and mass protests in 2019. Featuring Occupy leaders Benny Tai and Chan Kin-man; legislator Shiu Ka-chun; and young activists, such as Agnes Chow, Tommy Cheung, Nobel Peace Prize nominee Alex Chow, Ray Wong, Hong Kong’s first political refugee now residing in Germany, as well as masked militant protesters, the film depicts their personal reflections on their chosen paths – fleeing Hong Kong, pursuing studies overseas, accepting the political cost of dissent by confronting the prospect of imprisonment, or embracing militant combats on the street. A sequel to Raise the Umbrellas, which was about Hong Kong’s battle for universal suffrage, We Have Boots is both a portrait of the genealogy of dissent in a post-colonial Chinese city, and of 2 struggles waged, said Time magazine, “on the frontlines of a global battle for freedom.” The title of the film is inspired by a poem by the African American poet, Nikki Giovanni: “We begin a poem / with longing / and end with / responsibility / And laugh / all through the storms / that are bound / to come / We have umbrellas / We have boots / We have each / other.” 

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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