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The post-urban gaze and Hong Kong independent cinema: An ecofeminist perspective

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The city has always been a prominent subject in Hong Kong cinema. Land has been seen only as a profitable commodity, controlled by property developers and the wealthy. Instead of exploring the countryside and the traditional farming and fishing villages, people shifted their focus to Hong Kong: its skyline became the only valid point of perception. This marginalization of nature, however, was challenged in 2008 during the dispute between the villagers of Choi Yuen village and the Hong Kong government regarding the construction of Guangzhou‐Hong Kong High-Speed Rail Link, which would demolish the village of 500 people that lay along its path. This article looks at Jessey Tsang’s documentary Flowing Stories (2014) and adopts an ecofeminist perspective on the ways in which Hong Kong’s cultural imaginary has been reinvented in films. The role of documentaries in the independent film scene will be reviewed, especially the social-issue documentaries that have become popular since 2008. An ecofeminist approach to our understanding of Hong Kong could shift the paradigm of our stagnant cultural imaginary ‐ the urban city ‐ and resituate Hong Kong in a closer connection with its surroundings and the world.
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Keywords: Hong Kong; documentary; ecofeminism; nature; oral histories; post-2008; water

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 0000000121742757University of Hong Kong

Publication date: October 1, 2019

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  • Asian Cinema is a seminal journal, which has been published since 1995 by the Asian Cinema Studies Society under the stewardship of Professor John Lent. From 2012 Asian Cinema will be published by Intellect as part of our Film Studies journal portfolio. The journal currently publishes a variety of scholarly material - including research articles, interviews, book and film reviews and bibliographies - on all forms and aspects of Asian cinema. The journal's broad aim is to advance understanding and knowledge of the rich traditions of the various Asian cinemas, thereby making an invaluable contribution to the field of Film Studies in general.
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