Thursday, February 18, 2021

New Book: Film and Constitutional Controversy: Visualizing Hong Kong Identity in the Age of 'One Country, Two Systems' (Marco Wan)

Film and Constitutional Controversy: Visualizing Hong Kong Identity in the Age of 'One Country, Two Systems'
Marco Wan
Published in February 2021
Cambridge University Press
300 pp.
Book description: In modern-day Hong Kong, major constitutional controversies have caused people to demonstrate on the streets, immigrate to other countries, occupy major thoroughfares, and even engage in violence. These controversies have such great resonance because they put pressure on a cultural identity made possible by, and inseparable from, the 'One Country, Two Systems' framework. Hong Kong is also a city synonymous with film, ranging from commercial gangster movies to the art cinema of Wong Kar-wai. This book argues that while the importance of constitutional controversies for the process of self-formation may not be readily discernible in court judgments and legislative enactments, it is registered in the diverse modes of expression found in Hong Kong cinema. It contends that film gives form to the ways in which Hong Kong identity is articulated, placed under stress, bolstered, and transformed in light of disputes about the nature and meaning of the city's constitutional documents.

‘Few books I know of interweave cinema and law as intelligently as Film and Constitutional Controversy in elucidating Hong Kong's post-1997 identity crisis. For anyone concerned with contemporary Hong Kong, China, and the wide-ranging legacies of British colonialism, Marco Wan's informative, judicious account is a must-read. It has so much to tell us about the practical conundrums, allegorical fantasies, and popular affects stemming from this singular historical situation.'
     Rey Chow - Anne Firor Scott Professor of Literature, Duke University

‘Marco Wan's Film and Constitutional Controversy is a fascinating contribution that makes creative use of the nexus between film, culture, and law to trace Hong Kong's unique historical trajectory. At the same time, Wan draws on Hong Kong's singular relationship to the rule of law to offer fresh insights into how film and law can be mutually illuminating.'
     Michel Rosenfeld - University Professor of Law and Comparative Democracy, Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University


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