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"Joker" is violent, bloody – and inspires some demonstrators in Hong Kong



But in Hong Kong, where protests over democracy drag on for over four months, the Joker's mask has a greater weight – showing a gap between some demonstrators reflected in it and others who are appalled by the comparison ,
"Joker", which tells the story of a failed comedian turning to murder in Gotham City, ultimately trades in making a monster. WarnerMedia, the parent company of CNN, said that the movie does not aim to "hold this character up as a hero," yet some in Hong Kong seem to have been inspired by the character and the film.

Social media viewers point out that both Gotham and Hong Kong are home to groups of dissatisfied people who feel abandoned by their government and a wealthy elite. In the movie, Gotham citizens and policemen fight in a subway station, a sinister echo of such fights in Hong Kong's own stations. At the end of the film, rioters devastate parts of the city with seeming smoke or gas ̵

1; similar to tear gas, graffiti and broken glass, which have become routine in Hong Kong.

Coincidentally, "Joker" was released in Hong Kong just one day before the authorities used colonial forces to ban face masks and face masks during public gatherings. In destructive protests the following week, indignant protesters wore all kinds of facials, including Joker masks and Joker's make-up (both versions of Joaquin Phoenix and Heath Ledger).
 A protester wearing a joker mask during a protest in Hong Kong on October 18, 2019.
"After today, Hong Kong needs Joker," a post on the online protest site said LIHKG the day after the ban's announcement. Another user called the Gotham rioters "martyrs" and the joker "the symbol of resistance and the spiritual leader of the rebels".
Another article linked characters in "Joker" with corresponding Hong Kong figures. For example, she likened the Joker to Edward Leung, a pro-Hong Kong pro-independence activist who was imprisoned in 2016 for involvement in violent demonstrations. Meanwhile, Batman's father Thomas Wayne, a callous and prosperous mayor candidate, has been identified with Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam, who accuses the protesters of not being in contact with the public.

Kimmy Woo, a student who recently saw "Joker". also saw an analogy for Hong Kong's government in the film. In one scene, the joker accused his therapist of not listening in all his weekly sessions. "It's like the government now," Woo said. "Regardless of how people voice their demands, the government is still not listening."

  Protesters in Hong Kong wear masks on October 18, 2019, including a joker mask.

Deacon Lui, a local photographer who talks about the protests has recently posted photos of herself in Joker Makeup. "The film is about a minority in society that is constantly being ignored by those who have the resources," he told CNN. "You do not have the right way to express your anger or those negative feelings … I think it's out of desperation that (the joker) went crazy and decided to make a rebellion." brutal violence: "People feel helpless and can not express it," Lui said.

On his Joker-inspired photo, Lui pokes her head out of a tram window painted like the Joker and lit by the neon lights of the city. "Is it just me or is it going crazy out there?" The caption reads – a quote from the film.

Despite all efforts, these joker fans are not making any progress in the protest movement – many are trying to distance themselves more from the film. Posts that make these comparisons are often downgraded heavily, with comments encouraging the community not to seek the joker.

A post on LIHKG with more than 200 upvotes praised the artistic value and plot of the film – but said, "It's totally inappropriate to compare it to the situation in Hong Kong."

"I hope everyone will stop using jokers to describe Hong Kong as it will only bring negative results, whether global or personal. "it was said.

Another popular post called the Joker a criminal and Gotham a city of "fallen morale".
  A demonstrator wearing a clown mask in Hong Kong on October 18, 2019.

"Please do not make the Joker the leader of the resistance," the article said. "(The movie) is really good, but at the moment it's dangerous, and the danger is that people will interpret it intentionally or unintentionally into the current situation in Hong Kong."

Woo also warned The danger of glorifying the Joker was that she hoped the demonstrators would not try to emulate him or his fictitious followers.

"In the end, the masked people (Thomas Wayne and his wife) killed and everyone was excited and felt like they were doing the right thing," she said. "But we can not do that … If the Hong Kong people really acted like the joker, Hong Kong would be doomed to fail."

These reactions show how the protesters see themselves – not as criminals or vandals, but as "freedom fighters", as an online commentary put it. The Joker is pleased to cause chaos – but the protesters claim they have been forced into this fight by an unresponsive government.

  Hong Kong demonstrators wearing a mask on October 18, 2019, despite the state ban on facemasks in Hong Kong public gatherings.

This distinction is important to them, as they often argue that any violence or destruction on their part justifies causes rather than unnecessary violence. When protesters are criticized for destroying metro stations or destroying ATMs, they often say they have little choice and all for the better.

Yet, destruction has begun to drive moderates into Hong Kong – which may be why demonstrators do not want to be compared to the Joker. In a period of fluctuating public support, targeting the Joker could only bring bad PR, argued several comments to LIHKG.

Even Lui said he did not intend his photos to be an endorsement of the joker's violence – that's what he was. I'm just trying to portray the social tensions that exist in both film and real life.

The Joker was not a hero, he said. Like many of the demonstrators in Hong Kong, the joker was "just a guy who acted out of desperation."


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