The Personal is Political: Reading of A China? Hong Kong? Film Set in Taiwan.
Since March 2019 and with no end in sight, massive numbers of protesters—on one occasion, nearly 2 million—have taken to the streets of Hong Kong to oppose the controversial extradition bill. China’s involvement in the proposed bill has alienated the Hong Kong people from China and moved them closer to Taiwan. “Today, Hong Kong; tomorrow, Taiwan” has become a popular slogan warning of China’s threat to Hong Kong’s and Taiwan’s free societies. The slogan is also a sign of growing solidarity between Hong and Taiwan, a disconcerting development for the Chinese government, which insists on a nonnegotiable “One China principle” by claiming Taiwan as its territory. In this talk, I will briefly explain the complex peripheral and colonial histories of Hong Kong and Taiwan and place their current tension with China in historical context. To illustrate the contested identities and politics in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and China, I use my current research on the film A Family Tour (2018) as an example. Directed by Ying Liang, a Chinese independent filmmaker who has been forced to exile in Hong Kong since 2012, A Family Tour is more than a story of exile and displacement. Loosely based on the director’s personal story and set in Taiwan, the film sheds light on the inevitable conflict between the values of Hong Kong and Taiwan and China’s authoritarian political dominance. I interviewed the director in Taiwan in November 2018. In this presentation, I will share my interview of Ying Liang and explore the likely implications for his life and work if the Hong Kong extradition bill is enacted.
Thursday, November 7, 2019 at 1:00pm to 2:00pm
Letitia Pate Evans Hall, E-Conference Room A & B
141 East College Avenue, Decatur, GA 30030