The final installment of the Ip Man franchise, Ip Man 4: The Finale, may be breaking box office records across China and Taiwan, but when it comes to Hong Kong, the final chapter of the successful franchise is falling short, thanks to protesters boycotting the film because of its stars and producer's pro-Beijing stance.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Ip Man 4 boycott was organized by users of a Reddit-like forum, LIHKG. The site has been one of the sites utilized by Hong Kong's pro-democracy movement since the movement began back in June. The protesters are themselves not seeing Ip Man but are also actively encouraging others to not see it as well by posting spoilers for the film's plot on social media and elsewhere.
As for why the film is being boycotted, that is connected to the politics of the film's stars Donnie Yen and Danny Chan as well as producer Raymond Wong. Wong specifically has been very open about his pro-China leanings while Yen appeared alongside Chinese leader Xi Jinping at a 2017 celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Hong Kong handover and earlier this year also issued a statement about "the determination of the motherland" earlier this year. Chan has also been very supportive of the Hong Kong police, noting on social media that the police shouldn't go easy on protesters.
Ip Man chronicles 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. He mentored many world famous martial artists, including Bruce Lee, who will once again be featured in this film, played by Ip Man 3 star Danny Chan (who also played Lee in the Legend of Bruce Lee TV series. The Ip Man 4 plot brings Ip Man to America and you can check out the synopsis for the film below.
Ip Man’s life remains unchanged after his wife’s death, but he and his son are slowly drifting apart. To seek a better future for his son, Ip Man decides to travel to the U.S. only to find the stable, peaceful life abroad is only skin deep. Underneath lies a deep rooted racial discrimination that is far worse than he has expected. Ip Man re-examines his position and ponders on the reason he took up martial arts in the beginning.
What do you think about the pro-democracy Ip Man 4 boycott? Let us know in the comments below.