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Department of English, NTNU


Given the long-existing and multifaceted negotiations of the “China factor” inHong Kong film history, this article centers on the political function of genrefilms by exploring how contemporary Hong Kong filmmakers utilizefilmmaking as a flexible strategy to re-negotiate and reflect on the China factorconcerning current post-handover political dynamics. By focusing on severalrecent Hong Kong genre films as case studies, it examines how the China factoris negotiated in Vulgaria (低俗喜劇 Disu xiju, 2012) and The Midnight After(那夜凌晨,我坐上了旺角開往大埔的紅 VAN Naye lingchen, wo zuoshangle Wangjiao kaiwang Dapu de hong van, 2014), considering the politics oflanguages alongside the imaginary of the disappearance of Hong Kong’s localcultures in the post-handover era. It also highlights two post-UmbrellaRevolution films, Trivisa ( 樹大招風 Shuda zhaofeng, 2016) and TheMobfathers (選老頂 Xuan lao ding, 2016), to explore how the China factor isnegotiated in light of the collective anxieties of Hongkongers regarding thehandover and controversies in the current electoral system of Hong Kong. Bydoing so, this article argues that the re-negotiations of the China factor incontemporary Hong Kong genre cinema have become more and morepolitically reflexive given the increasingly severe political interference of theBeijing sovereignty that has violated the autonomy of Hong Kong, whileforming a discourse of resistance of Hongkongers against possible neocolonialism from the Chinese authorities in the postcolonial city. Crucially, incontemporary Hong Kong genre cinema, filmmaking functions not only asfilmmakers’ flexible strategy to convey political messages, but also as anongoing process of cultural production and negotiation between the film and theshifting socio-political context.