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 allow the instructing of transcultural literacy.
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Additional resources for Ann Hui's Song of the Exile
The imperfections of diasporic intimacy, such as precarious affection, improper family and sexuality, and indirect recognition, characterize the second home. Daily tension caused by mutual mistrust is expressed intimately. Food conveys warmth and censure. Eating alone is wrenched with guilt and eating together is exclusionary. Rather than nourish and cohere, food and eating are proxies for hostility and alienation. Touch is also fragile and cozy. Grandfather’s skilled penmanship and grandmother’s firm grasp are also accompanied by Aiko’s hard slap.
In the room, the camera shoots over the dining table and grandfather’s bed, dwarfing the space. When cut to Hueyin’s point of view, these shots amplify her claustrophobia over the environment. In a similar scene earlier in the grandparent’s bedroom in Macau when Hueyin was a toddler, these props appear at her eye level. Where the old Macau room is spacious and allows her to run and sit, the new Chinese room is congested and narrow. She even hunches and has to squat awkwardly to eat. Hueyin has outgrown and is out-of-place in this space.
It also allows Hong Kong to continue to be a part of the deterritorialized empire of multinational corporations and global capitalism. Underpinning political transition is Hong Kong’s ambiguous postcoloniality. Rey Chow problematizes Hong Kong’s predicament through the prefix 20 ● Ann hui’s Song of the exile of the ‘post’. ‘Post’ is usually interpreted in two ways: ‘having gone through’ colonialism, and ‘after’ colonization (1992: 152). The first suggests an indirect end of imperialism with traces of current and continuing aspects of colonialism including post-socialism and transnational capitalism.
Ann Hui's Song of the Exile by Audrey Yue