Public screening of a documentary film suspended amid controversies

A well-regarded documentary film directed by Mabel Cheung Yuen-ting has been drawn into controversies as the student featured in the film complained that she had never consented to the film for public screening.

Under the turmoil, Cheung apologized and announced on Sunday the screenings of 'To My Nineteen Year Old Self' will be suspended until all issues are clarified.

She added that she had discussed with her alma mater, Ying Wa Girls' School, to reach the decision.

In the documentary, Cheung's camera follows six secondary school students for over a decade to witness the agony and ecstasy of growing up during a turbulent time in Hong Kong.

According to the interview published by MingPao Weekly on Sunday, Ling, one of the six students featured in the documentary, said that she did not consent and was opposed to the public screening of the film or showcased at film festivals.

Ling added that she initially thought the documentary was only an internal project for her school Ying Wa Girls' School. She tried to stop the public screening but in vain.

Another interviewee also expressed her dissatisfaction with the filmmaking process and stated that she had not even watched the "final cut" of the documentary.

However, she thought it was useless to complain and thus compromised to agree to the screening of the film.

A former principal of the school, Ruth Lee Shek Yuk-yu, said that she should bear the responsibility for proposing to make the documentary. “I feel so sorry that my decision has created a hard time for the school and students.”

Meanwhile, Hong Kong's star cyclist Lee Wai-sze said she was notified by friends of her appearance in the documentary.

Lee stated that Cheung and the crew did not get her consent before including an interview clip with her in the film. She said she wouldn't watch the film and urged the public not to watch it.