Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Cultural Studies

First Advisor

Prof. CHAN, Ching Kiu, Stephen

Second Advisor

Prof. MORRIS, Meaghan Elizabeth


Censorship is an important cultural regulatory instrument for the government of a society, or even a state. In certain socio-political settings, it can become a powerful administrative appartus (dispositif) and technique (techne) designed to render society governable. Censorship decisions often embody hegemonic views on social and political issues. No matter how virtuous the original intent maybe, the practice of censorship is inevitably geared to the social tensions surrounding issues of human rights and political dissent. The theory behind film censorship may once have been benign but banning or cutting a movie always involves an unnatural set of procedures and actions. This study examines this problem in the context of socio-political changes in Hong Kong. It is an enquiry into the evolution of political film censoship in its more conventional form to its full-fledged integration into other institutions and policies under today's 'on country, two systems' policy. It also analyses the discourse surrounding the changes in film censorship practices from the days of early cinema to Hong Kong in the 21st century. By contextualizing Hong Kong cinema from a historical and political perspective, the study of the Hong Kong experience aims to shed light on censorship's socio-political meanings for, and effects on, filmmakers and film production.




Per author's instruction, fulltext access embargoed until November 16, 2017.

Recommended Citation

Yau, L. T. H. (2015). The progression of political censorship: Hong Kong cinema from colonial rule to Chinese-style socialist hegemony (Doctor's thesis, Lingnan University, Hong Kong). Retrieved from