What is it about?

In the early 2000s not long after the hand-over of sovereignty to China, the initiation of Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA) opened up an enormous Mainland market for Hong Kong filmmakers. Hong Kong–China co-production has been a new trend of commercial filmmaking (the mainstream) that led to a decline of the Indigenous film industry. For more than a decade, film production has been steadily manipulated by transnational capitalism and especially by political power after the enforcement of the national security law in July 2020. Independent (indie) cinema as a counter-strategy has bloomed and independent practitioners are constantly seeking spaces for development outside the mainstream industry. ‘Community screening’ has become an emergent independent screening practice in recent years. This article is an ethnographic study that focuses on the ‘plebeian public sphere’ opened up by the community screening of independent documentary films.

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Why is it important?

This article inquires ‘how the place makes the screening event possible’, as well as analysing the interaction between the community and the screening. In particular, it sheds light on 'kaifong', an idiomatic term in spoken Cantonese and a local community in Hong Kong, which has long been neglected in previous studies.

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This page is a summary of: Going to the people: Community screening, documentary and the plebeian public sphere in Hong Kong, Asian Cinema, October 2022, Intellect,
DOI: 10.1386/ac_00056_1.
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