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When A City Rises

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In 2019, the Chinese government tried to introduce a controversial extradition law that would stifle Hong Kong’s democracy. But they massively underestimated the people Hong Kong. By first ignoring, and then attacking peaceful protests, the government thought they would destroy the movement, instead they transformed a whole generation into radical activists.

Narrated by Eve, a student, WHEN A CITY RISES follows a teenage couple in love, a student leader and a father, as they take action to strike back against the superpower overshadowing their lives. As well as direct action, they use guerrilla tactics, technology, social media, memes and graffiti to challenge the status quo.

Relationships break and form amidst tear gas and rubber bullets, and across the border, China’s People Liberation Army awaits.

With a global pandemic driving protests inside and the new even more repressive National Security Law introduced, the stakes have never been higher for these Hong Kongers.

Official Selection CPH:DOX Festival 2021 - F:act Award - World premiere


Type of film
Running Time
103 min
Iris Kwong, Ip Kar Man, Cathy Chu, Han Yan Yuen, Huang Yuk-kwok, Jenn Lee, Evie Cheung 1st Feature
Sinead Kirwan, Han Yan Yuen
Executive Producer
Mark Thomas
Huang Yuk-kwok, Jenn Lee
Director of Photography
Yuling Chow, Amy Ip, Cathy Chu, Sharon Yeung, Han Yan Yuen
Claire Asenova
Adrian Leung
Assistant Producer
Wong Chui Wa
Line Producer
Mark Lacey
Stephen C. Horne
Online Editor
Gordon McAteer
Assistant Editor
Felix Hui
Motion Graphics Design
Kim Yoon-Hyun
Additional Camera
Andrew Lang, CHing, Edwin Lee, Sky Meng, Dino Ng, Man Kit Au-Yeung
Drone Footage
Raymond Lau

Production status


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Last updated 9th April 2021

Production Company

Enemy Productions T/A Enemy Films
2/7 Duke Place
Edinburgh EH6 8HP