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- Home for Border-crossers in Hong Kong in Fruit Chan's Little Cheung and Durian Durian
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- Dissertation

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The Representation of Hong Kong Identity in Fruit Chan's Films

SIU Heng

A dissertation submitted to The University of Hong Kong in partial fulfilment for the Degree of Master of Arts


I would like to express my deepest gratitude to my advisor, Dr. Esther Cheung, for her guidance and encouragement throughout the preparation of this dissertation, without which I would not have been able to complete this study. I would also like to thank all the teachers for the Master of Arts in Literary and Cultural Studies programme for their inspiring lectures and insightful teachings.


Fruit Chan's three films which are set in 1997, namely Made in Hong Kong, The Longest Summer and Little Cheung provide rich texts for discussions on the issues related to the Hong Kong identity. These three films feature a number of characters which are marginalised in the Hong Kong society. They feel being deserted by the mainstream society, and the mainstream wants to expel them from Hong Kong as well. There exists, however, an inter-dependent relationship between them. The dynamics in expelling and including these marginal characters must not be ignored in the examination of Hong Kong identity. Julia Kristeva's theory of abjection illuminates the understanding of their identities in such a situation of marginalisation. Waste matters, the most prominent abject in Kristeva's theory, appear in Fruit Chan's films like a motif. They can be read as metaphors to the situation of the marginalised characters, and so can the abject spaces. Space in the films can also be read as an arena where marginalisation takes place. Constant negotiation and struggle between the marginal and the centre in this space complicates the characters' identities. Complexities in nationality are added to their confusion over identities, for they want to expel and are being expelled by both the British and Chinese identities at a moment when Hong Kong is being returned from Britain to China.

Table of Contents

Chapter One: Introduction

Chapter Two: Marginalised People and Lonely Individuals

Chapter Three: Tabooed Objects and Forgotten Spaces

Chapter Four: Ambiguous Nationality and Confused Identity