“Life is often tough and it’s hard not to have worries. Since we’re in the same boat, we can all help each other under Lion Rock and leave our differences behind.”
This is a line from the well-known 1979 song “Below the Lion Rock” by Roman Tam. The song was considered to represent the spirit of the people of Hong Kong and therefore the “Lion Rock Spirit” is often used to refer to Hong Kong as a whole.
To commemorate the 25th anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to the motherland, a new television series featuring the “Lion Rock Spirit” debuted on the Chinese mainland on Sunday. The series, which airs on streaming giant Tencent Video, is set to debut in Hong Kong on Monday.
The series, The Stories of Lion Rock Spiritis produced by Hong Kong’s Bauhinia Culture Holdings Limited and Mainland’s Tencent Penguin Pictures, and involves experienced TV program producers like director Ng Gam-yuen, actor Huang Jue and actress Myolie Wu.
“Hong Kong’s return to the motherland is the wish of all Chinese people and represents the end of a period of humiliation, but we will not forget it,” Ng told the Global Times, adding that the series follows a group of ordinary Hong Kongers. inhabitants and examines the changes of the city by telling their stories.
The central setting of the 27-episode series is a Hong Kong-style cafe, a type of restaurant that offers an eclectic and affordable menu featuring Chinese and Western-style dishes.
The story begins in 1984 with a bustling tea restaurant serving mouth-watering roast goose and typical Hong Kong snacks such as rock rolls with butter and milk tea.
The cafe is witnessing the changes in Hong Kong from the perspective of daily life. It experiences the happiness and sorrow of Hong Kong people and is closely related to life. The restaurant also represents Hong Kong culture, just like the city’s milk tea mixed with coffee.
The manager said that tea restaurants are a part of Hong Kong people’s life, so he chose it as a window to observe local society.
It is through this restaurant that the main characters experience Hong Kong’s return to China, Beijing’s successful bid for the 2008 Olympics, the SARS pandemic and the global financial tsunami.
After the return, the “Pearl of the Orient” becomes prosperous and stable, integrates with the Great Bay and then leaves again.
Ng said Beijing’s successful bid for the 2008 Olympics impressed him, as a Chinese he was very proud. The grand event also impressed Wu, especially the opening ceremony, which left her stunned for a long time, she told the Global Times.
Huang plays the restaurant’s chef, while Wu plays the restaurant owner’s wife. The two represent two different groups living in Hong Kong, one local and the other a migrant from the mainland, but what is the same is their spirit of effort, which is “the spirit of Lion Rock. “.
Ng said he included people from different professions in the series, including police officers, teachers and leaders, most of whom are ordinary people, to show confusion, tenacity, kindness and commitment. Hong Kongers at different times over the decades.
Celebrate the return
So far, 13 episodes have aired in the mainland.
Many audience critics praised how the series restores Hong Kong to different times, reawakening their memories of the city.
To immerse himself in his role, Wu visited many Hong Kong-style cafes before the series began collecting material and watching people interact with each other.
The series was filmed on the streets of Foshan, South China’s Guangdong Province, but through computer production and effects, Hong Kong’s Central Wan and Sheung Wan come to life, completely restoring Hong Kong to the 1980s and featuring scenes from 40 years ago, Wu noted.
To celebrate Hong Kong’s return, local residents also took action. Jacky Ko, a key opinion leader who runs a multimedia production studio in Hong Kong, told the Global Times that they recorded an original song for the birthday.
Residents born in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s reveal their inner thoughts in song, celebrating Hong Kong’s return and upholding “one country, two systems,” Ko noted.