mandag 19. april 2021

Beijing ban on Oscar-nominated documentary ‘has raised its profile’

Anders Hammer moved to Hong Kong in 2019 to capture a David versus Goliath battle on camera, filming pro-democracy protesters in the city taking on autocrats in Beijing.

Little over a year later he became an inadvertent protagonist in that fight, when his low budget documentary Do Not Split won an Oscar nomination. Chinese authorities, apparently enraged or worried by the platform the star-studded evening might give the film, and by long-deleted comments from best director nominee Chloé Zhao, has reportedly told local media not to broadcast the ceremony live, and play down all coverage of the awards.

Hammer is bemused at the lengths to which China has gone to stop its citizens catching even a brief glimpse of his latest film. In the rest of the world, that move has earned him the type of press coverage he could never have dreamt of.