Days Before the Dawn, an excellent short film by Trevor Klein, tells the history of Hong Kong’s fight to remain free following its handover to China. The film won the Audience Choice award at the 2021 Anthem Film Festival.
On June 9, 1898, China agreed to lease Hong Kong to Britain for 99 years. Anticipating the end of the lease, in 1984 British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and Chinese Premier Zhao Ziyang negotiated a plan for a smooth transition of power that would allow Hong Kong to remain a semi-autonomous region for a 50-year period after the lease ended. However, once in control, the Chinese reneged on the “one country, two systems” agreement, moving to communize the island and end its democratic system. To the eternal credit of the Hong Kong people, they did not take this lying down. Days Before the Dawn tells their story.