Documenting the tumultuous relationship between the people of Hong Kong and the Chinese Communist government when it comes to universal suffrage and democratic sovereignty, Joe Piscatella's Joshua : Teenager vs. Superpower examines this continued struggle through the lens of one of its most vocal and inspiring activists, Joshua Wong. The founder of Scholarism, a student organization which was founded to oppose the nationalization of education introduced in Hong Kong by the Chinese government, Joshua Wong represents the people of Hong Kong's struggle for democracy, with this young activist's resolve and dedication being kinetic, unwilling to be complacent in accepting the system as is - a deceitful "one country, two system" which finds the smaller Hong Kong systematically oppressed under the weight of the larger, communist China, where personal freedom's are not a priority, only the will of the state. Joe Piscatella's Joshua: teenager vs. Superpower is a rather straightforward activist documentary where intentions and outcome perfectly align, but while the film may lack some of the more nuanced aspects of this tumultuous relationship between communist China and capitalist Hong Kong, it is hard not to admire the film's dogmatic depiction of activism. Focusing specifically on the importance of the youth movement through its profile of Joshua Wong, Joe Piscatella's film is a plea to individuals, both young and old, asking them to engage in civil obedience when it is deemed necessary to instill social change, particularly in a place like Hong Kong which doesn't have the ability to democratically select its own leaders. The pacing of the film is its strong suit, following Joshua Wong's struggles and eventual victory over the National Education incentive early on, detailing the stark difference between education and indoctrination, a concept which sometimes I feel like not enough Americans' fully grasp. Joshua Wong's fight for freedom of thought is essential but also a microcosm of the larger fight his country has for having the right to their own democracy and hereby identity, one which is detailed with the Occupy Central protest which Scholarism joins over the desire for universal suffrage from Communist China. The continued escalation of the conflict between the people of Hong Kong and the state of China is felt throughout Joshua: Teenager vs. Superpower, with the film be a glowing testament to the importance of perseverance the power of resolve. The pursuit off freedom is the lifeblood of Joe Piscatella's film, which exhibits the dedication and perseverance necessary to inflict change in the world, doing so with a glowing sense of admiration for its subjects.
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