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  • Peter Kam Fai Cheung SBS

The Sarajevo Incident



The TV is on. ANCHORMAN#1 reports. PETER watches on and off from his desk.


November 11, 2018 marks the

100th anniversary of the end of


Working on his computer, Peter pauses.


Those who fought in the war,

if not untimely died are all gone

now. What was the grand total

of casualties?

Peter researches.

PETER (Cont'd) (V.O.)

Oh My God! 37,508,686!

Remembering something, Peter researches again.

PETER (Cont'd)(V.O.)

Yes, the Sarajevo Incident 1914

is relevant. The heir of the

Austro-Hungarian throne and

his wife were assassinated on

June 28. I visited the Latin

Bridge scene in July 2017.

Searching his computer files, Peter finds a bridge photo. He makes it the feature photo of a blog post.

PETER (Cont'd) (V.O.)

I studied history and only

knew it triggered WWI. I

couldn't grasp the details

from boring texts. Europe

was very foreign to me then.

Peter surfs the web. We see texts with illustrations and video clips.

PETER (Cont'd) (V.O.)

When I was a kid, I heard

and read Hong Kong war

hero stories during WWII.

I felt blessed that I needed

not join the military. And

I prayed for world peace.


PETER (Cont'd) (V.O.)

Did China fight in WWI?

Peter does further research. We see some black-and-white photos of Asians digging trenches and working in arsenals.

PETER (Cont'd )(V.O.)

China was officially neutral.

It didn't send any combat

troops to fight Germany.

But about 140,000 Chinese

workers were recruited to

support the Allied war


Pausing a while.

PETER (Cont'd)(V.O.)

The victorious Big Four were

France, United Kingdom, Italy,

and United States. China's

May Fourth Movement was

students' response of China

not getting sovereign equality

and fair treatment during the

Paris Peace Conferences.

China didn't sign the Treaty of


After a little while.

PETER (Cont'd)(V.O.)

Yes, May Fourth is a symbolic

anniversary date for the

Chinese destiny.

ANCHORMAN #2 reports about how do those born after WWII in defeated countries keep their sorrows in private. We see black-and-white movies of somebody. An OLD GENTLEMAN on TV speaks.


That's my grandfather. Days

after the filming, he went

down before a firing squad...

He cannot control his tears anymore.


That's how he faces history

and himself. How sad! Can

peace be kept by force? Do

countries understand each



PETER (Cont'd) (V.O.)

Similarly, at the private individual

level, can people avoid conflicts?

No prosecutions, no litigation,

and no arbitration too?

Peter sighs.

PETER (Cont'd) (V.O.)

Jurisprudentially, that's possible,

if individuals or countries have

the opinion to be legally bound

by the rule of law. But when

will humans become civilized?

We hear an anti-war song: "...The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind, the answer is blowing in the wind."


The End

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