Shanghai Blues


Born under the One-Child policy, Zhao Yong finds his family in the Blue Devils, Ultras of Shanghai Shenhua FC. Radical football fans, they’re part of China’s most progressive subculture; full of passion & proud to be different from the rest of the 1.4 billion population. A natural introvert, Zhao Yong comes alive with megaphone in hand, leading the terrace as Shenhua experience their worst ever season. After a feisty derby against new-money club SIPG, the Blue Devils come under increased surveillance & are forced into silence. Shenhua unexpectedly make it to the FA Cup final, the last time they stand in their home of Hongkou Stadium. The world changes in February 2020 & Shanghai suffers the harshest lockdown. Shenhua move stadiums across the city & an event takes them full circle - the Super Cup, a final derby at Hongkou. Zhao Yong raises the megaphone one last time in the stadium of their childhood as they stake their final claim to the city and prepare to say goodbye to their youth.


Participant: Gemma Thorpe