Frustrations at Age 21
Although 21-year-old tertiary students Cheung Hoi-wing (Henry) and Chan Chi-sum (Sam) grew up in different environments, they harbour similar frustrations. They both believe our society’s current mainstream values measure a person’s worth by numbers, be it academic grades at school, or the ability to purchase a property and earn a stable income after one grows up. These expectations have put immense pressures on them, and also become a burden for an entire generation of youngsters. Both young men are hoping to find a way out. Sam, a Social Work student, is taking action to make the government aware of the pressures faced by schoolchildren, while Henry, who is pursuing a degree in Government and Public Administration, has decided to depict Hong Kong’s current situation through creative works such as novels.
Sam is particularly concerned about the emotional problems of Hong Kong schoolchildren, because he constantly fought with his mother over his schoolwork while he was a primary and secondary student. His mother forced him to study, causing him to suffer from a mood disorder, and even to attempt suicide. Reflecting on this as a grown up, he has come to realise that she did so because she was under the influence of mainstream values, and also due to the fact that she did not know how to express her love for him. Sam and his mother actually love each other deeply, and the conflict between them was eventually resolved.
Henry has also noticed that many social values have become distorted. Through writing horror novels, he hopes not only to release his own pent-up emotions, but also prompt the people around him to show more concern for society, thereby eliminating social indifference. He also once suffered from a mood disorder due to stress, as was the case with many of his friends. He was ultimately able to emerge from the darkness thanks to his family’s support, and also because his writing helped him work through his frustrations. His conclusion: “Young people should bravely walk their own paths, and not submit to the labels imposed on them by society.
Assistant Producer: Chan Tsz Shan
Director: Wong Ka Yi
Executive Producer: Ng Wai In