This is one of two books announced today which come from the winners of the annual thesis prize of the Association of Hispanists of Great Britain and Ireland: Delphi May's new study Hybrid Acts: Chinese Cultures in Spanish Film and Television. (And see also Jade Boyd The Experience of Colour in Lorca's Theatre, number 54.)
Every city outside of China has a Chinatown, or so it often seems, and every culture outside of China has its own ways to portray that community. Sometimes it's shown as an infusion of vibrant culture, an outgoing and flamboyant place, but then again sometimes we're offered a closed bubble of introversion. Sometimes the movies show a Chinese community well outside the borders of law and order, and sometimes they show a people with a reverential sense of honour. Even the best-intentioned of movies and TV shows pretty generally fall into these stereotypes, and into making Chinese-origin people the Other. This is as true of Spanish cinema as of British, as Delphi May shows: but there are also honourable exceptions.
Our cover is a still frame from the film Huidas/Escapes, directed by Mercedes Gaspar in 2015.
Hybrid Acts: Chinese Cultures in Spanish Film and Television is due out in our Studies in Hispanic and Lusophone Cultures series in 2022.