Chinese Documentary Festival 2016

Chinese-Documentary-Festival-2016

This year’s Chinese Documentary Festival, which runs from 9th September to 16th October, will showcase over thirty films from Hong Kong, China and Taiwan across three categories – Features, Shorts and Selection of Hong Kong Documentaries. The films encompass a wide range of themes including art, politics, religion and current affairs. Several of the films directors will attend the Festival to share their experience with the audiences.

Features
The featured Chinese documentaries tend to focus on social issues such as demolition and education – My Land and Wandering Village both discuss the issue of demolition, with the former describing an agricultural family’s struggle for their land and the latter utilising the recycling industry as the background of the woes that workers have due to demolition. A Purpose Built School highlights how the “Gaokao Factory” twists the meaning of education, while Xu Tong’s Cut Out the Eyes takes the historical drama Er Ren Tai to the cinema, morphing the protagonist’s misfortunes into a complain against violence.

The Taiwanese films are relatively more emotional. Kuo Shiao-yun’s Meeting with Bodhisattva documents how Taiwan’s U-Theatre has guided a group of released inmates to rise above their old habits and temptations. In My Foreign Hometown, foreign brides in the Hakka community shows a united and positive attitude towards life. Trapped at Sea, Lost in Time is a major production, and tells the stories of fishermen far away from home. Rolling on the Stage, Rolling for Life brings to the audience the art of Taiwanese folk opera, while depicting the thrilling stories of the opera troupe members behind the stage.

Shorts
This year’s Shorts category focuses on the many highs and lows of life. Taiwanese director Shen Ko-shang’s Murmuring Days captures the moments of cancer patients with their families, showing how love shines through even the darkest of times. Stand By You provides an account of social welfare organisations aiding children with experiences of misfortune, impressing audiences with its underlying sentiment. A Story of the Remainders documents an ordinary family plunged into turmoil, bringing to light the devastating change that resulted from the demolition of Taiwan’s military communities. Shangshu Seminary witnesses the reconstruction process of this Sichuan Catholic monastery, with the alarming murders that happened in the course of reconstruction showing the dark side of human nature; on the flipside, Atayal Mother’s Peaches uses the story of a peach farming family to show the resilience Taiwans’s aborigines retain in the face of adversity. A Perfect Crash documents the political downfall of Sunflower Movement student leader Chen Wei-ting due to a sex scandal, while Nameless provides the openly humourous attitude a street vendor poses towards overcoming the challenges in life.

Selection of Hong Kong Documentaries
With the media increasingly self-censoring, documentaries are becoming an important medium to expose the stories the media won’t cover. This year’s Selection of Hong Kong Documentaries category contains several impressive films. Cheung King Wai’s The Taste of Youth lends an ear to the heartfelt confessions of nine teenagers, broadcasting the neglected voices of society’s young ones. In Parent Cheering Team, parents and children are similarly engaged and excited in baseball, with the pricelessness of family relations emerging from within. Kong Rice witnesses the involvement of a teacher in a revival of agriculture movement in the New Territories, with the aim of environmental conservation. Yellowing and 75 Days: Life, Liberty and Happiness record the comings and goings of the Umbrella Movement, while Van Drivers 2 sees the Umbrella Movement through the eyes of volunteer workers. More than Conquerors provides a discussion on the relationship between religion and society, while the unique Zero Acceleration employs fantastic camerawork to lead the audience from bustling city life into an urban oasis. Tai O Diary, the works of Visible Record’s Master Class 2015, shows the charms of Tai O in different aspects.

Chinese Documentary Festival 2016
Date: 9 September – 16 October, 2016
Venue:
Hong Kong Space Museum (10 Salisbury Road, TST)
Hong Kong Science Museum (2 Observatory Road, TST)
The Grand Cinema (2/F, Elements, 1 Austin Road West, TST)
Tickets: $85, $70
More info: www.visiblerecord.com

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Megabites: Buffets and Bubbles

Brazilian Buffet in the Renaissance Cafe in the Renaissance Hotel

Lots of tasty choices this summer including a Brazilian themed buffet at Cafe Renaissance and bubble parties for your kids at Frites.

Brazilian Buffet @ Cafe Renaissance
In Hong Kong we can enjoy cuisines from around the world, there’s surprisingly few restaurants offering South American fare. In celebration of the Olympics, Café Renaissance in Wanchai is expanding it’s regular lunch and dinner buffet to feature a rotating selection of popular Brazilian dishes.

Curated by Brazilian Guest Chef Lucio Mauro the indigenous menu includes Arracacha soup with shredded chicken, black eyed peas beans salad, palm heart spaghetti with avocado salad, chicken conquetes and cheese balls salad.

The hot entree section includes prawns with cassava and coconut rice, a delicious Feijoada- which is a black bean stew with sausages and pork. Or try the Escondidinho (beef jerky and potato) that’s a popular dish from Northeast Brazil.

Barbecue in Brazil is known as Churrasco, Hong Kong law doesn’t allow charcoal cooking inside, so the beef, lamb and chicken Churrasco are cooked traditionally but using an electric grill instead.

Brazilian Buffet in the Renaissance Cafe in the Renaissance Hotel

Brazil has lots of tasty desserts including: Brigadeiro (a truffle ball with a rich chocolate flavour), beetroot chocolate cake, coconut pudding with prune sauce and minute tapioca with dulce de leite are served on weekends.

All Cafe Renaissance’s regular signature buffet dishes are still availalble including Australian oysters, steamed live Boston lobster, sashimi, sushi, grilled and roasted meats and over twenty desserts plus cheese and ice-cream

The Brazilian Lunch Buffet is served 12-2:30pm Monday to Friday ($308) and 11:30am-2:30pm on weekends ($338). The Brazilian Dinner Buffet 6:30-10pm daily: $568 from Monday to Thursday and $588 from Friday to Sunday. The price includes free flow of chilled fresh juices, soft drinks and in the evening a special Brazilian mocktails will be served at night.
Cafe Renaissance: Renaissance Harbour View Hotel, 1 Harbour Road, Wanchai. Tel: 2584 6871

Bubbles @ Frites
FRITES is hosting children’s Bubble Parties every Saturday and Sunday until the end of July to entertain youngsters while their parents relax and enjoy their lunch. The free bubble sessions lasting 30 minutes are at 2pm and 4pm while there are other children’s activities happening across lunchtime. For more details visit www.frites.hk

FRITES-Kid's-Bubble-Parties

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Megabites: Ee Da Le

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When I first heard of Ee Da Le by Harlan Goldstein I hadn’t a clue it was Italian, all that came to my mind were musical notes and possibly opera.

The logo for Ee Da Le sees the name spelt as three words almost encouraging you pronounce them separately. It’s only when you merge them you realise the name Ee Da Le or rather Eedale is how many Chinese pronounce Italy!!

A bubbly Harlan Goldstein greeted guests invited to a lunchtime preview tasting a day before the public soft opening.

The decor is understated yet has this rich Italian operatic touch and feel to it with ruby red velvet curtains, extravagant light shades, a tile looking floor that isn’t and all the small details that you don’t really see unless you look closely. The 58 seat restaurant features a long open kitchen to observe and smell the chefs hard at work. There’s also a full bar where you can enjoy a cocktail while waiting for your table.

On arrival, we were served with a plate of cheese bread, which looked like cute mini loaves accompanied with a green salsa verde dip which was made with pickled onion, pesto, white vinegar and parsley. The bread was quite firm, with a nice cheesy taste. Dipping it in the salsa verde mellows the cheese out nicely.

Ee Da Le launched in Lyndhurst Terrace Soho by Harlan Goldstein

A selection of anti-pasti dishes arrived next including a tomato bruschetta, a scallop carpaccio and Mama’s Meatballs.

The Pomodoro, slices of tomato bruschetta $32/piece, were light and crispy and heaped with fresh tomato that had a tangy punch to it.

Ee Da Le launched in Lyndhurst Terrace Soho by Harlan Goldstein

Mama’s Meatballs ($108) are made with veal, beef and pork sausage smothered in Sunday gravy. These meatballs were amazing because they were lean and velvety yet soft and moist, while the delicious Sunday gravy made the meatball experience complete as it was meat juice mixed with tomatoes and fragrant herbs like bay leaves.

The Crudo di Mare ($168) was quite summery; the scallops were drizzled in citrus topped with sea urchin, sun-dried tomatoes and anchovy, which gave it some bolder flavours.

Ee Da Le launched in Lyndhurst Terrace Soho by Harlan Goldstein

Moving on, we had the Char-grilled Sicilian Octopus ($168) served on a bed of mash (potato crema) topped with olives and a baby gem lettuce heart. The octopus tentacle was infused with herbs yet it still tasted like it was straight from the sea with that firm springy texture.

The last dish, Madam Chu’s Signature Linguini with Red Prawns ($428) was stunning. A vibrant linguini in a thick orange sauce served on a black plate with an edge that looked like the surface of the moon replete with mini craters.

If you look closely, you can see generous pieces of small dried shrimps, which give the linguini such a strong salty prawn flavour. The prized red prawns add sweetness through the essence that comes from the prawn head. A truly rich linguini, which can get quite heavy for one so it is best shared.

Ee Da Le launched in Lyndhurst Terrace Soho by Harlan Goldstein

For dessert, we finished with Affogato ($68), which came with smoke coming off it, and then hot espresso was poured on top. The intense chocolate flavour, contrasted with these strong coffee bits, Amaretti crumble and Tahitian vanilla gelato.

Ee Da Le’s team are still finding their feet in the new kitchen as the workmen complete the finishing touches, yet the food is beautifully cooked and presented. We’ll be back for more of Mama’s meatballs and to explore further the extensive menu.

Ee Da Le
3/F, 8 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central. Tel: 2896 1838
Opening Hours: 12-3pm, 6-11pm
www.eedale.hk www.facebook.com/eedalehk

Ee Da Le launched in Lyndhurst Terrace Soho by Harlan Goldstein

Photos: Jayne Russell

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