Hong Kong Films' Views of the People's Republic of China: From "Comrades, Almost a Love Story" to "Life without Principle"
The Institute of East Asian Studies at UC Berkeley presents a discussion of how Hong Kong films reflect the changes in opinion of mainland China
04/09/201412:10PM - 1:30PM
UC Berkeley, Institute of East Asian Studies, 6th Floor
Address: 2223 Fulton St, Berkeley, CA 94720
Speaker: Mary Erbaugh, Center for Pacific and Asian Studies, University of Oregon
Sponsor: Center for Chinese Studies (CCS)
Hong Kong film, like Hong Kong identity, constantly recasts its views of China. Martial arts films asserted a distinctively Chinese toughness against a hostile world. As reunification drew near, Hong Kong viewed mainlanders with humor, uneasiness and condescension. The peasant immigrants in ‘Comrades, almost a love story’ (1996) could not even use an ATM. In ‘Durian, durian’ (2000) a prostitute from icy Northeast China flees to Kowloon, where she mails the stinky tropical fruit back home (2000). As Hong Kong accommodates the mainland, Chow Yun Fat, the aging Hong Kong star depicter of mob bosses, even plays Confucius in the mainland film (2010). Cross-border financiers and loan sharks become indispensible in ‘The election’ (2005, 2006, 2015) and ‘Life without Principle’ (2011), while the Hong Kong women of ‘Love in the Buff’ (2012) relocate to the mainland for better jobs, gentle romance, and green open space.