Hong Kong Documentary Film

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2014-04-30
  • Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
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Does Hong Kong have a significant tradition of documentary film-making?

Until recently, many film scholars believed not. Yet, when Ian Aitken and Michael Ingham challenged this assumption, they discovered a rich cinematic tradition dating back to the 1890s.

Under-researched and often forgotten, documentary film-making in Hong Kong includes a thriving independent documentary film movement, a large archive of documentaries made by the colonial film units, and a number of classic British official films. Case studies from all four categories are examined in this book, including The Battle of Shanghai, The Sea and the Sky, Rising Sun and The Hong Kong Case. In-depth discussion and analysis of more recent Hong Kong independent documentaries focuses on works such as Cheung King-wai's KJ: Music and Life and films by Tammy Cheung and Evans Chan.

With a particular emphasis on how these films address the historico-political dimension of their time, Hong Kong Documentary Film introduces students and scholars in Film Studies to this fascinating and largely unexplored cinematic tradition.

Author Biography

Ian Aitken is Professor, Department of Cinema and TV at the Hong Kong Baptist University.

Table of Contents

1. Hong Kong, Britain China
The documentary film (1896-1941), A Page of History (1941) and The Battle of Shanghai (1937)
2. Hong Kong, Britain China
The documentary film (1947-69), the 'picturesque' committed film and Water comes over the Hills from the East (1965)
3. Colonial film: The development of official film-making in Hong Kong (1945-73), the Hong Kong Film Unit (1959-73) and This is Hong Kong (1961)
4. 'Under Siege'. Public-service broadcasting in an authoritarian setting: The case of Radio Television Hong Kong, and the development of television documentary film in Hong Kong
5. The documentary films of Radio Television Hong Kong and The Hong Kong Case (1989)
6. Aesthetics and radicalism: An overview of independent documentary film in Hong Kong (1973-2013)
7. A critical analysis of significant independent documentary films of the past three decades: Ed Kong's Rising Sun (1980), Evans Chan's Journey to Beijing (1998), Tammy Cheung's Rice Distribution (2003), Anson Mak's One Way Street on a Turntable (2007), Cheung King-wai's KJ: Life and Music (2008) and Louisa Wei's Storm under the Sun (2011)

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