Hong Kong - Fragrant Harbour
Discover a Hong Kong before the tide of modernity swept all before it, a land of striking contrasts where old and new, European and Chinese shared a crowded island.
Hong Kong before the skyscraper: it's barely possible to imagine today. But this collection of films shows island life before the steel-and-glass towers and the elevated expressways, when Hong Kong and the neighbouring New Territories were still parts of a rugged but rapidly developing outpost of the British Empire. Visit the genteel colonial centre, including the long-gone Hong Kong Club; explore the waterfront streets around Wan Chai and Causeway Bay, before the major land reclamations of the 60s and 70s pushed them inland. A few select landmarks in the footage can still be seen today, notably Aberdeen Bay, the Peak Tram and Victoria Harbour. But what these films preserve is a largely lost Hong Kong, a city whose recent past is vanishing and whose ever-shifting landscape is fading from recognition. The films are rich in contrasts. Traditional Duanwu Festival dragon-boat racing share the waters with Royal Navy warships enjoying the interwar calm. While peasant farmers bend their backs in the New Territories paddy fields, expat Brits tour the colony in motorcars. As today's Hong Kong faces yet more uncertainty and change, these films highlight a very different time on the crowded island where East met West.
Documentary19279 minsSilent Location: Hong Kong
Staggering views of 1920s Hong Kong capture the contradictory cocktail of East meets West on this outpost island.
Documentary194024 minsSilent Location: Hong Kong
This intimate study of Hong Kong explores the life and landscape of the former British colony in exquisite detail.
Amateur film19375 minsSilent Location: Hong Kong
Get close to the action with this high-octane footage of a traditional Chinese water sport.
Amateur film193710 minsSilent Location: Hong Kong
Street carnivals and military processions – a home movie record of Hong Kong’s celebrations as George VI is crowned.
Amateur film193810 minsSilent Location: New Territories
A study of Chinese peasant labour in the paddy fields of the New Territories, north of Hong Kong Island.
Amateur film19378 minsSilent Location: Hong Kong
Poignant amateur footage records the aftermath of one of the worst typhoons in Hong Kong's history.
Amateur film192316 minsSilent Location: Hong Kong
This unique and beautiful tour of Southeast Asia and China is a treasure trove of picturesque views of Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing.
Home movie193518 minsSilent Location: Aberdeen
Join a group of ex-pats on a tour around Hong Kong, long before it became defined by its skyscraper skyline.
Amateur film193817 minsSilent Location: Hong Kong
Christmas decorations jostle for attention among thousands of street signs in this amateur exploration of Hong Kong Island’s busy streets.
Amateur film193814 minsSilent Location: Tai Po Road
The famous island is only part of Hong Kong, as this intrepid amateur explorer-cum-filmmaker reveals in this intriguing travelogue.
Amateur film19294 minsSilent Location: Hong Kong
A fascinating film about expat life in Hong Kong; featuring amazing views of open countryside, a steeplechase and frolics on the beach at Repulse Bay.
Trip to Guandong aboard the Lion steamer with friendsTrip to Guandong aboard the Lion steamer with friends
Amateur film19294 minsSilent Location: Guangzhou
We’re all aboard the steamer Lion, cruising towards the bustling city of Guanzhou. We also see Chinese workers in traditional headgear toiling in the scorching countryside.
Amateur film19284 minsSilent Location: Shanghai
Chinese junks and British battleships appear together in this film depicting the 1928 Armistice Day in Hong Kong.
Outward Bound through the Suez Canal and on to ShanghaiOutward Bound through the Suez Canal and on to Shanghai
Amateur film193810 minsSilent Location: Shanghai
Travel in luxury on the 'slow boat to China' in this remarkable film from 1938, passing through the Suez Canal to Hong Kong, Shanghai and beyond.