Acclaimed documentarian Ai Weiwei chronicles the passionate protests by patriots fighting to preserve the democracy and rule of law in Hong Kong.
If you see something evil gaining traction and gaining power and do nothing to stop it, you could just as well suffer the consequences we are suffering now.
In February 2019, the Hong Kong government proposed a bill that would have allowed the extradition of criminal suspects from Hong Kong to face trial in mainland China. The controversial bill sparked immediate outrage over widespread fear of arbitrary detention and politically motivated trials that would decimate Hong Kong’s autonomy under ‘one country, two systems.’ Protests escalated into epic pro-democracy demonstrations, in part led by young people connected via social media.
COCKROACH, filmed during the height of the protests, captures the extraordinary intensity of an unprecedented era in Hong Kong’s history.
Spanning the evolution of the protest movement, the film captures street demonstrations, police suppression and violence, and key events such as the multi-day siege of Hong Kong Polytechnic University. The film features Interviews with Hong Kongers activists, protestors, politicians, ordinary citizens, and policemen. Prominent legislators, lawyers and activists articulate the perils of intensifying assaults on freedoms and the rule of law.
COCKROACH is a poignant and dramatic visual record of the final moments of an independent, democratic Hong Kong. On June 30, 2020, China imposed the National Security Law in Hong Kong, effectively ending Hong Kong’s judicial and political independence and placing the city firmly under Beijing’s control.
As freedom and democracy are quietly under seige in far too many countries across the globe, COCKROACH is vital viewing, a rallying cry to join the protest before it is too late.
A conversation with director, artist and activist Ai Weiwei and author and lawyer Antony Dapiran moderated by Texas Tribune founder and CEO Evan Smith