Fourteen year old school boy Joshua Wong founded the campaign group Scholarism in April 2011 in response to the lacklustre opposition from Hong Kong’s pro-democracy political parties to the announcement that mainland style political education, known as National Education, would replace Civic Education from 3rd September 2012.
Over the course of the film Joshua goes from an unknown school boy campaigning against National Education on Facebook, to a media superstar and the leader of 120,000 protesters laying siege to the Hong Kong government’s headquarters.
Filming began before Joshua’s monumental rise to fame. Consequently, the filmmakers had unfettered access to Joshua enabling them to create the most complete study of an extraordinarily determined school boy and his group of friends as they established Scholarism.
Seventeen year old Ma Jai is representative of a new generation of socially conscious Hong Kongers. He and his friends eschew the materialism so prevalent in Hong Kong, reject the harsh zero sum game demanded by the ‘freest economy in the world’ and renounce the crony capitalism that dominates Hong Kong’s political system.
A former school mate of Joshua’s, in 2010 Ma Jai dropped out of school and dedicated himself to social activism. After flirting with the Civic Party and FM101, he finally settled at the ‘radical’ pro- democracy political party the League of Social Democrats.
Unlike Joshua, he is intensely shy and shuns the media spotlight. But, he is passionate about social issues and making a difference. He works tirelessly behind the scenes doing the unglamorous, but essential, work needed to make social activism successful.
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