Hong Kong — The final instalment of the Ip Man franchise, Ip Man 4: The Finale, may be breaking box office records in China and Taiwan. In Hong Kong, however, it is falling short. Protesters are boycotting the film because of the pro-Beijing stance of its stars and producer.
Users of a Reddit-like forum, LIHKG, have organised the boycott, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Since protests began in June, the site has been one of those used by Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement. Protesters are also actively encouraging others to not watch it as well by posting spoilers for the film’s plot on social media and elsewhere.
The film is being boycotted because it is connected to the politics of the film’s stars Donnie Yen and Danny Chan as well as producer Raymond Wong. In 2017, Yen was with Chinese leader Xi Jinping to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Hong Kong handover. Earlier this year, he issued a statement about “the determination of the motherland”. As for Wong, he has been very open about his pro-China leanings.
Chan, meanwhile, has been very supportive of the Hong Kong police, saying on social media that they should not go easy on protesters.
The film Ip Man is about the life and exploits of Ip Man (or Yip Man), a real-life martial artist who was a legendary teacher of the Chinese martial arts form known as Wing Chun.
Many famous martial artists have been mentored by him, including Bruce Lee. The late actor will once again be featured in the film. He will be played by Ip Man 3 star Danny Chan, who also played Bruce Lee in the Legend of Bruce Lee TV series.
In Ip Man 4, Ip Man goes to America. This is a synopsis of the film:
After his wife’s death, Ip Man’s life remains unchanged. However, he and his son are slowly drifting apart. Ip Man decides to travel to America to seek a better future for his son, only to find that the stable, peaceful life abroad is only skin deep. A deep-rooted racial discrimination lies underneath that is far worse than he has expected. The martial artist re-examines his position and ponders why he took up martial arts in the beginning.