Interview with Wai Lun Kwok. Participant at Imagineindia 2018

Interview done by Imagineindia at Warsaw Film Festival 2017

Yesterday it took place the screening of your film in this festival with subsequent Q&A. How can you rate the experience?

Basically, it was fine. I’d like audience to have talked more about the film (not about its production and political obstacles), but in the beginning the audience hadn’t been very talkative, not very eager.

The film begins with a melody with enormous similarities to the Beatles song “All you need is love”. Are you aware of it?

I didn’t know that was his song. I wanted to give some rhythm, something artistic.
A friend had some friends who had a band. I talked to them and I liked their proposal. They even make a cameo in the film. But I did not know it was from the Beatles.

How long did it take to write the script?

It took 2 or 3 years to make the script, I had to rewrite three times. My first draft was a comedy about a person like Gold – how he wanted to make himself famous. But finally I decided I didn’t want to make fun about artists, finally I had to cut all funny situations. I wanted to show a bunch of people who survived in this circle. Protesting, protecting their freedom. I started to work on the script like in 2014.
First draft of script was made by scriptwriter from Hong Kong, he had got his own gallery.
Then I met another scriptwriter, a documentary maker. He investigated on high rank artists, low rank artists, and I started to write a story with him.
I had lived in this village for 4 months. There are so many artists there. Around 10 000 – coming, going. Musicians, everyone. There are galleries, business people, there are very poor artists too.

How was your experience in NY? Did this stay influence your film?

I studied painting, stage design in NY for 3 years, I enjoyed there – so many artists I enjoyed and lived with. But I wanted to make films about my country. May be it influenced a bit. Every experience has influence on one.


I don’t feel you filming style is Chinese ¿what do you think?

I don’t know, how to compare. For this film specially I didn’t want to make many styles, various mis-en-scenes. I want more people to understand me, to understand the situation. So, simple camera works. To make the film easy-watching. I was making a film, a story in a manner that many people could understand artists. If a style is too abstract, it’s not so appropriate for audience.
When you make films, you have to think about out-world. You follow your heart, but you cannot make a film without thinking of surrounding. This is not true – not to think about others.

What are the limits of freedom for you ?

One of the first exhibitions depicted in film was in actually private, physically restricted space, no permission required for such an exhibition. But you need more physical space – and then you need a permission for an exhibition, and it is due to this permission as somebody is always “on your head”.
Some people are tightening you.

Did you get the permission to show the film in China?

You have to be a good guy. We had to send our script for the approval. In Hong Kong we can screen but in Peking I don’t think so.