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Opium Dreams: The Trippy Side of Hong Kong Life

By Sophie Pettit 14 September 2018
You might remember talented local filmmaker Sam Robinson for his incredible video Focus Hong Kong which captures his homeland in all its chaotic glory. Well, now the born and raised Hong Konger is back with a new clip and this time, things are getting a little trippy.

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Titled Opium Dreams, Hong Kong, the short film strives to capture the euphoria of youth blended with shots of Hong Kong, which Sam likes to call an "opium infused simulation". A few coloured smoke bombs, a placid snake, and a lot of imagination went into making this dreamlike sensation which we absolutely love. "The idea behind Opium Dreams was to conclude my trilogy of youth in Hong Kong", Sam tells Localiiz. "My first film, Focus Hong Kong, was an attempt to capture its hidden beauty, my second, Escape The City, was a break free from the chaotic concrete jungle we all so often find ourselves trapped in sometimes. And my third film (this one) is a ride inside the simulation". "For me, Hong Kong is almost like a Game Boy city. There is stimulus on every corner and Opium Dreams is about capturing the city in a light that hadn’t been seen before. I wanted it to be a feast for the senses and re-vamp the typical “neon light busy city” image that many videos are based around. Hong Kong is one of those cities where ‘being bored’ just doesn’t fly." "Much like a dream, I wanted to take the viewers on a journey out of their current reality and take them on a tour of what Hong Kong felt like to me during the summer months. I put my heart and soul into this – I'm not sure I slept more than 20 hours all summer, but I really wanted to capture Hong Kong in this particular way." Well, we certainly think it was worth the sleepless nights! But who are the mystery stars of this dreamy creation? "The people in the video include myself, an aspiring dancer from London (the girl in red), dancers from my favourite club, Ophelia, and a snake who belongs to the owner of a reptile store in Hong Kong, who also appears towards the end." Well there you have it.  The film locations include:
  • Pok Fu Lam (where Sam grew up)
  • Ophelia
  • Sevva
  • Man Mo Temple
  • Tung Chai waterfalls
  • Indigo Hotel and late night taxi rides into the early mornings

Watch more! See more incredible videos of Hong Kong.

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Sophie Pettit


Sophie is always on the lookout for a great story and her next big adventure and loves nothing more than discovering the city’s hidden gems—and most delicious cocktails. When she’s not exploring new places, she’s off travelling and ticking countries off her bucket list.