Macau Handover

Hanspeter Ammann

Switzerland, 2001
27 minutes, Colour, sound
Original format: video
Available formats: DVD / Digibeta tape / SD Digital file

‘Commissioned by the Institute of European Studies of Macau to commemorate the return of the Portuguese territory to China on 20 December 1999, Macau Handover offers an elliptical, back-door view of an historic event. Though the official ceremony can be heard on the soundtrack in the form of a live television broadcast, it remains tantalisingly offscreen. Excluded from the sacred rites of power, we take our place among the milling crowds at street level and await the fulfillment of a destiny beyond our control. The departing brass pose stiffly for a last official portrait, the Chinese army trucks roll in, but Ammann undercuts the stately pomp with vignettes that imply the resilience of common humanity.’
Peter Matthews, Sight and Sound, London UK