‘Resident Evil’ and the Memory War between Hong Kong and China


‘Resident Evil’ and the Memory War between Hong Kong and China


I am not a fan of TV, but on the recommendation of my wife, I watched some series on Netflix. After “Stranger Things,” it was “Resident Evil,” which I was engrossed in. This one is based on a Japanese video game, which has been adapted into movies and TV series over the years due to its popularity.

The story is about a pharmaceutical company that has developed a joy pill, which allows people to solve all their worries and feel no pain, even after a knife cut. But the pill contains a virus that can turn people into zombies, and it happens, turning the world into a zombie world.

Albert, a senior in the company, has twin daughters. Jade works hard to develop an antidote to save the old world, while Billie embraces the idea of ​​the joy pill and the new society she can create.

In one scene, the sisters argue. Billie says, “Do you like your memories, Jade? I do not. That is why I am building a better future, making the world a better place.”

This reminds me of the memory battle between Hong Kong and the Chinese Communist Party.

Communists write history according to the “historical materialist world view”, which, simply put, means that they draw a prior conclusion, and the conclusion can only be the same no matter what the details are. This approach, which is politically oriented, results in a “disappearing story”, in which historical memories are drastically filtered under the guise of anti-colonialism and anti-feudalism, leaving only the parts that are advantageous to the communist regime.

The late Qing and the ROC did nothing but abandon sovereignty and humiliate the country, the Chinese Communist Party was the backbone of the war of resistance against Japanese aggression, and there would have been no new China without the Communist Party— all these manipulated claims are considered “historical memories” under the communist regime.

Furthermore, power struggles caused the communists to review historical memories for obvious political reasons. The best-known example is the “Founding Ceremony” oil painting, which depicts the announcement of the founding of Communist China at Tiananmen Gate in 1949, and includes images of Gao Gang and Liu Shaoqi, who were noted communist leaders.

In the 1950s and 1960s, Gao Gang and Liu Shaoqi were respectively removed from the painting after they were both purged. This shows that the recent disqualification of legislative and district councilors in Hong Kong is simply a mild version of the purge of political enemies, which is a well-founded tradition of the Communist Party.

In the Deng era, Mao’s status declined sharply. Back then, I frequently went to mainland China for research purposes and heard quite a few stories that people said that Mao was bad and Deng was good.

Later, in the “anti-bourgeois liberalization campaigns”, Hu Yaobang and Zhao Ziyang were criticized and gradually faded from public memory.

In the Xi era, attempts to rewrite history become obvious. History textbooks describe the Cultural Revolution, long characterized as a “ten-year catastrophe,” as an “arduous probing” of social construction, reversing its nature and obviously clearing historical obstacles to ultra-left policies in budding.

Once Hong Kong was returned to a regime that views historical memory as nothing more than a political tool, how the city’s historical memory should be interpreted cannot be part of the promised “high degree of autonomy”, and whatever historical memory is not conducive to the Chinese communist regime must be rewritten.

No restrictions have been placed on “harmless souvenirs” such as Hong Kong-style milk tea and Cantonese opera, but Hong Kong, as a century-old colony, can no longer boast of being a former colony, and for the SARS epidemic from 2003 only support from mainland China can be mentioned, and how the virus started has become taboo.

In “Resident Evil”, Jade works in a university ship specialized in the study of the zombie virus. In one scene, Jade’s daughter plays the piano, to which her teacher gives the following suggestive speech: “So why teach children poetry, Shakespeare, dance and music now, at this time in our history? ? Well, I think we’re all dedicated to collecting as much of our past as we can and preserving it in our collective memory because that’s what the arts were in their earliest forms. It is a way of imprinting deep and emotional stories on our souls. Stories we don’t want to lose, because even in times like these, ‘we are the stories we tell’”.

A civilized society should preserve all memories, both good and bad. It is a crime against humanity to alter memories to serve the regime.

The views expressed in this article are the views of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.


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Hans Yeung is a former manager of the Hong Kong Examination and Assessment Authority, specializing in history assessment. He is also a historian specializing in the modern history of Hong Kong and China. He is a producer and host of programs on the history of Hong Kong and a columnist for independent media. He now lives in the UK with his family. Email: hku313@gmail.com