The representation of Macau in Hollywood cinema during its colonial times” is the title of an upcoming conference at Portugal’s Museum of the Orient on February 18.
The conference will be the last of a series of events featuring Macau as the main topic, the Fundação Oriente informed in a press statement.
According to the information provided, during the period known as “Estado Novo,” (New State) in Portugal, Macau was the most prominent Portuguese colony in North American film fiction, serving as a location for more than a dozen movies revolving around crime and adventure.
Its ancestral reputation as a place of exotic vices and the typical Hollywood fascination with Eastern-style narratives contribute to the prominence of Macau in these genres, reflecting the geopolitical context of the territory at that time.
Most of the films were produced in the 1950s, reflecting the fact that the colony was simultaneously situated on a cold war frontier and dominated by a power outside the “Bretton Woods monetary management system”. These elements contributed to the prominent storylines of espionage and smuggling.
These are precisely the topics that Rui Lopes – who holds a doctorate in International History and is a researcher at the Institute of Contemporary History of Nova University – proposes to analyze, seeking to unpack the context in which these productions emerge and the implications of these fictional stories on the portrayal of Portuguese colonialism in the region.
After the conference, the film “Sisters” by Tracy Choi will be screened, closing the series titled “Macau Cinema. Past and Present.”
Both the conference and the film screening will be held in the Museum of the Orient, with free admission.