Get access

Of Ghosts and Gangsters: Capitalist Cultural Production and the Hong Kong Film Industry


  • Sylvia J. Martin


This article contends that ghosts and gangsters are not merely popular genres in the Hong Kong film industry; they are also legitimate participants in the film production process itself, influencing financial, creative, and logistical resources and decisions. Film personnel's accounts of the possession and protection of their bodies by members of the cosmological and criminal underworlds, particularly in location filming in graveyards and gangster turf as well as ritual payments and appeasements made to the underworlds, reveal the diverse risks and cultural practices in film production. This article argues that despite the rationalization of commercial filmmaking, “enchantments” in the form of religion and feudalistic crime linger within capitalist production.