“Starry Night”, a character-driven documentary jointly produced by the Hong Kong Police Force (HKPF) and Phoenix TV, charts the personal experiences and emotional journeys of a group of Hong Kong police officers who were at the epicentre of the large-scale protests that were engulfing the city in 2019.
Immortalising a watershed in HK's history against all odds
Filming of the documentary started when a riot was sparked off in Admiralty in the evening of August 31, 2019 and concluded on Christmas Eve on December 24. Although the filming process spanned less than half a year, it encompassed the most dangerous and chaotic, as well as the most socially divisive period in Hong Kong in 2019. Throughout that period, police officers discharged their duties for over 20 exhausting hours day in, day out. Roads across the territory were often blocked by obstacles or obstructed by protesters, and rioters would “take matters into their own hands” by wantonly battering or brutalising people holding views different to theirs. All these were plunging society into its most polarised state.
The film crew of Phoenix TV managed to record all the happenings without interfering with the Police’s law enforcement actions. In fact, there was never a second chance to reshoot any scenes as well. Meanwhile, the crew had to remain extremely vigilant when filming in crowded areas and keep an eye on their surroundings, in order to avoid being attacked by rioters.
A whirlwind of events kept playing out during the four months of filming. Since no one could accurately predict what would happen next, the film crew must anticipate all sorts of unexpected challenges in the planning stage and overcome any adversities when the camera was rolling. Given the difficult circumstances under which the documentary was produced, this visual chronicle of a particularly trying time for the city is truly irreplaceable in terms of its historical value.
Key characters recounting personal journeys on the record
Shadowing multiple police officers featured in the documentary, the film crew entered different police stations to shoot footage of briefing sessions, attended scenes of chaos in different districts, or boarded police cars on patrol and missions. In fact, the large amount of refreshingly candid interviews with the officers have given credence and added particular value to the documentary.
A unique perspective on police officers’ humanity
The police officers forming the backbone of the documentary come from different positions in the Force. In the interviews, these officers reveal the ordeal they themselves and their families had been through, shedding light on the unprecedented personal attacks they faced as well as how they were doxxed on the Internet, maliciously smeared and viciously threatened. On one hand, the documentary reveals the enormous challenges tackled by the Hong Kong Police as a law enforcement agency. On the other hand, it also offers viewers a rare glimpse of the officers at and outside of work, showing that Hong Kong police officers are indeed ordinary people as well.
A co-production with the global audience in mind
This documentary, jointly produced by the HKPF and Phoenix TV, is interspersed with first-person accounts from police officers, in the hope of offering viewers worldwide a panoramic vision of what had happened in Hong Kong. The documentary will premiere on the Hong Kong Police’s Facebook page and YouTube channel at 9pm on July 22, and also air on the global platforms of Phoenix TV.
Members of OffBeat Editorial Committee:
|Mr Kenneth Kwok||CSP PPRB (Chairperson)|
|Ms Jessica Wong||PIO PP PPRB|
|Mr Raymond Lee||CIP MR PPRB|
|Ms Louise Wong||TSRO KE|
|Mr Tony Chow||ATSRO KW|
|Mr Marco Chan||ATSRO NTN|
|Ms Grace Mak||TSRO NTS|
|Ms Angela Lai||TSRO MAR|
|Mr Wilson Tam||SIP SR 2|
|Ms Jandy Shek||CIP A&S HKPC|
|Ms Ada Wong||SIP HQ (2) CRM|
|Mr Ma Tak-hung||JPOA REP|
|Ms Grace Ng||EO CSR A|
|Editor:||Ivy Leung: 2860-6171|
|Reporter:||Dickson Choi: 2860-6172|
|Photographers:||Hugo Lam: 2860-6174
Lam Yu-san: 2860-6175
|Address:||10/F, Arsenal House, Police Headquarters,
No.1 Arsenal Street, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
|Deadline for Issue 1165:||July 23, 2020 (before 6pm)
|Deadline for Issue 1166:||August 6, 2020 (before 6pm)
Procedures for submission of articles can be viewed through the hexagon of OffBeat on Police Intranet (POINT).
Published by the Police Public Relations Branch, Hong Kong Police Force