chapter  12
Mainlandization and Neoliberalism with Post-colonial and Chinese Characteristics: Challenges for the Hong Kong Film Industry: Mirana M. Szeto and Yun-chung Chen
ByMIRANA M. SZETO AND YUN-CHUNG CHEN
Pages 22

In face of intensifying neoliberal global economic crises and the antecedent imposition of structural adjustments, the commodifi cation of culture into cultural industries and cultural capital has become a major policy tool for postindustrial city renaissance and global city competition. The recent transformations in the Hong Kong fi lm industry is a part of this larger picture. This chapter tries to analyze the recent decline and seeming revival of the Hong Kong fi lm industry as a unique process of transition and adaptation, from the conditions of colonial laissez-faire policy before the 1997 return to Chinese sovereignty, to the conditions of neoliberal governance today, albeit with postcolonial and Chinese characteristics. We will show how Hong Kong’s return to Chinese sovereignty in 1997 and its geo-cultural proximity to China complicate its postcolonial condition and its relation to the regional and global fi lm industry, which is a unique situation diffi cult for the outside world to understand. Rather than celebrating the recent neoliberal “revival” of the Hong Kong fi lm industry as an effect of the rise of China, with all its implications of nationalist euphoria, our fi eldwork results caution about the human and cultural costs as well as longterm implications of this neoliberal structural adjustment.