「화어계」로 싱가포르와 말레이시아의 첫 영화를 논하다 (Xin Ke: The first locally produced film in Singapore and Malaysia from a Sinophone perspective)
Hee, Wai Siam
Date of Issue2015
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
Based on historical evidence from a large number of newspapers in 1920s, this article argues the assertion of the international academic circle that the film Xin Ke was never released. Thus, the historical significance and status of Xin Ke as the first Singaporean and Malaysian film is established. Additionally, we describe the origins of the “Independent Film Company of Nanyang Liu Bei-jin” and the public response to the company. The article also examines the moving and tragic life of Liu Bei-jin, the film company’s head and former Namchow mechanic, who left Singapore and Malaya to fight in the Chinese War of Resistance against Japan. Moreover, the article describes the Xin Ke production team and the film’s reception. The problems that the film confronted at the time of its production are examined, including the censorship of the British colonial government in the 1920s. The stylistic oscillation of Xin Ke’s screenplay between the Nanyang style of literature and art and Chinese literature and art are discussed. Furthermore, the manner in which the film ad- dressed the disputes between the two major Chinese communities in Nanyang, that is, the Xin Ke (new immigrants) and the Peranakan (the Straits Chinese), is examined. This article locates these issues in the general context of the contemporary Singapore-Malaysian Chinese historical discourse to encourage reflection and questions. The unfortunate death of Liu Bei-jin and the existence of Xin Ke have been obscured in the history of the so-called Chinese diaspora, the history of China and in the historical discourse regarding the imperialism and the universal chauvinism that result from English-language hegemony. This obfuscation suggests that the historical discourses that rely on above-mentioned theories must be countered by a new theory of historical discourse. The Sinophone theory, in which Chinese-language is studied as a minority language, can serve as a starting point for our reflection on this topic. Finally, this article discusses how Xin Ke displays the characteristics of multiple sounds and multi- ple orthographies that typify the creolization of Chinese. Liu Bei-jin, who was well versed in six languages, and his Xin Ke provides critical historical evidence regarding the origins of the Creole frequently heard in contemporary Singaporean and Malaysian films and a valuable perspective on the disputes re- garding indigenousness, colonialism and Chineseness.
Global Journal of Cinema China
© 2015 The Author. This paper was published in Global Journal of Cinema China and is made available as an electronic reprint (preprint) with permission of DBPIA. The published version is available at: [http://fb.riss.kr/search/detail/DetailView.do?p_mat_type=1a0202e37d52c72d&control_no=3c75956492bacc95d18150b21a227875]. One print or electronic copy may be made for personal use only. Systematic or multiple reproduction, distribution to multiple locations via electronic or other means, duplication of any material in this paper for a fee or for commercial purposes, or modification of the content of the paper is prohibited and is subject to penalties under law.