Oxford-educated scholar turned documentary filmmaker Matthew Torne's "Lessons in Dissent" (whom he also co-produced) deftly portrays two dedicated teenagers fighting the moneyed Hong Kong establishment and special administrative region's Beijing masters. It's a study in contrasts and a striking depiction of a new generation of young activists and protesters in a very politicized Hong Kong. Some spectacular footage is included.
|Media-savy teenager Joshua Wong|
One figure portrayed is the media savy 15-year-old schoolboy Joshua Wong Chi-fung (黃之鋒), the convenor of Scholarism, and who led the fight against National Education in 2011, and who also was a key figure in last Fall's Umbrella Movement.
|The more radical Ma Jai is shown being arrested|
In striking contrast is the more below the radar and less known Ma Wan-ke (馬雲棋) (nicknamed "Ma Jai" (馬仔) a 17-year-old secondary school dropout (from the same school and housing estate as the more mainstream Joshua Wong), who while lacking Mr. Wong's more sophisticated political analysis (spoken in the film in Cantonese, with English subtitles), nonetheless is able to offer biting observations that prove that he is able to be well read and educated despite Hong Kong's at times stultifying education system. He is an active member of the more anarchistic League of Social Democrats.
|Matthew Torne at UC Irvine 25 February 2015; Photo c Daniel C. Tsang 2015|
|Protest leader Joshua Wong|
|Joshua Wong with Lessons in Dissent DVD|