‘Crossings’ : documentary elements and essayistic devices in the fiction and non-fiction films of Evans Chan

Michael Anthony INGHAM

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Evans Chan is a transnational Chinese film-maker, based in New York, but originating from China and educated in Hong Kong and Macau. This paper focuses particularly on the historical, cultural and political elements in Chan's oeuvre and also examines the important role of historical, documentary components in the structure of Chan's notionally fictional films in addition to his more conventional documentaries. The locus of Chan's film-making attention to date is predominantly Hong Kong and Macau. He is particularly interested in the way these enclaves on the China coast have responded to their reintegration into the China Mainland, following their Handovers of the late nineties from British and Portuguese rule respectively. Nobody produces better documentary and fictional-documentary crossover work about these subjects than Chan, especially in relation to the complex cultural and historical contexts involved. All of his films are essayistic in structure and style and difficult to categorise, which is perhaps why he is not better known. The paper introduces Chan's work and, in doing so, makes a strong argument for the wider recognition of his importance, in terms of his approach to both the content and the form of contemporary cinema.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-33
Number of pages13
JournalStudies in Documentary Film
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2007


  • Essay film
  • Evans Chan
  • Hong Kong
  • Tiananmen Square
  • transnational


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