By Audrey Yue
This e-book examines "Song of the Exile" as diasporic cinema. As textual content, its practices of diasporic intimacy problem the exilic myths of domestic and go back. As style, its use of postcolonial feminist autobiography articulates an alternate Hong Kong historical past. As pedagogy, its border practices let the instructing of transcultural literacy.
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Extra resources for Ann Hui's Song of the Exile
Aiko’s Hong Kong Chinese nationalism is embodied through the new loyalty of learnt language and everyday practices. It speaks to the grassroots nationalism of the Hong Kong Chinese (Ma 2007), as a form of bottom-up and diasporic nationalism reshaping the Chinese national imagination. It is interesting to note that Taiwan is an ‘absent present’ in the film. This is registered through the motif of the KMT, through Ah Reng’s absent presence in the film: he is absent from the present diegetic time of the film and made present only through recollections.
Aihwa Ong’s (1999) middle-class ‘flexible (Chinese) citizens’ are The Diasporas of Hong Kong 35 ● also embraced in places like North America and Australia because they contribute professionally and financially to the economy. This functional approach underpins the cultural philosophy of intimacy as an interdependent relationship between the self and other, and how the self is transformed as a result of the other (Kasulis 2002). As Emmanuel Lévinas writes, ‘intimacy which familiarity already presupposes is an intimacy with someone’ (1969: 155).
They are peripheral forces of Chinese transnationalism. Their peripheral status is also evident in their imperfections. Macau’s notorious imperfections are also reflected in the imperfections of diasporic intimacy. Imperfections are excentric forces that decentre the status quo of China. Like Macau’s crime, sex and gambling, the intimacies of precarious affection, improper family and sexuality, and intimated recognition are alternative modes of survival that challenge the conventions of the Confucian and post-socialist family and their codes of moral duty.