Hong Kong’s Once-Thriving Film Industry Faces a Rocky Reboot Amidst Closer Ties With China

  • Variety
Hong Kong’s Once-Thriving Film Industry Faces a Rocky Reboot Amidst Closer Ties With China
In the world of Asian cinema, Hong Kong has cultivated a reputation for punching above its weight. Once producing 300 films a year, the small territory hatched global martial arts superstars like Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan, Michelle Yeoh and Donnie Yen. It nurtured the visions of auteur Wong Kar Wai and put itself on the map with compelling crime thrillers like “Infernal Affairs” — remade by Martin Scorsese as Oscar winner “The Departed” — and Johnnie To’s “Election.”

These days, however, the Hong Kong cinema scene is getting a disturbing reboot. Beijing’s increasing political control, especially the draconian National Security Law that curtails freedom of expression, passed last June, has accelerated the mounting challenges.

“The Nsl feels like the beginning of the end. Internationally, and even regionally, Hong Kong as a film hub is now in danger,” says San Diego State University professor Brian Hu, whose research has centered on
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