More than Law and Order: Regulating Film Exhibition in Colonial Hong Kong (1907- 1914)

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This paper discusses a number of important features in early film exhibition in Hong Kong from 1908 to 1914, before the outbreak of the European War. Our survey of English newspapers during this period recovered reports on civil and criminal charges against the cinema business. The reports shed lights on the regulatory framework of film exhibition in colonial Hong Kong. This framework indicates the colonial administration’s intervention into issues of safety, hygiene, sexual misconduct, fair trade, rent seeking, and police integrity. Government’s enforcement was important to maintain public order; however, they were often fraught with racial prejudice. Laissez-faire, the prevailing view on the cultural policy in colonial Hong Kong--needs to be adjusted, with the new findings on early film exhibition.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jun 2019
EventThe NECS 2019 Conference: Structures and Voices : Storytelling in Post-Digital Times - Gdańsk, Poland
Duration: 13 Jun 201915 Jun 2019


ConferenceThe NECS 2019 Conference
Internet address

Bibliographical note

Research for this paper is funded by General Research Fund (Project Code: LU 12613217) provided by the Research Grants Council, HKSAR.


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