魁北克與香港:身份、自治及電影的交叉點
Quebec and Hong Kong: At the Intersection of Identity, Autonomy and Cinema

文:Elizabeth Kerr

從表面上看,香港和魁北克的共通點好像很少。儘管錢幣上都曾經有英女皇伊利沙伯二世頭像,但地域上亞洲與加拿大是遠得不可再遠,社會及文化有天淵之別。然而,香港和魁北克,都同樣在國家偌大的領土中,成了語言及文化的局外人。魁北克自有史以來都一直聲言、也在政治上積極地表明其獨立國的地位,而香港的覺醒則在近年,包括在電影方面,比魁北克更低調。

「分離」這個詞一直在擁護魁北克主權者之間熱議。在不同時期,它代表追求更大的自主或主權,而又維持一定程度的聯邦制;有些時期,則代表着絕對的獨立。魁北克作為加拿大政治最活躍的省份,以說法語的人為主的魁北克人,一旦獨有的身份受威脅,就會毫不猶豫地以遊行(經常由學生發起)或選舉去發聲。無論這個「美麗的省份」的社會氣氛是怎樣,像大部份的民族電影一樣,魁省的電影都會反映當時的氣氛。1970年代開始,魁北克的抗爭本色,有時會被電影鏡頭過濾掉,而更可悲是,經常就只有魁北克人知道。雖然那股聲音很強大、很清晰,完全跟省內的社會運動沒兩樣,但都因加拿大省與省之間嚴苛的交易條例,以及主流操英語的加拿大人一貫對魁北克的漠視(甚至魁北克人本身對同胞也會)而無法傳開去。

也可以說,現代的魁北克人牢不可破的自我身份及民族認同,是來自於戴高樂的政治失誤造成的三重打擊、以美國Haight-Ashbury區為標誌的全球反文化運動、法國1968年的五月風暴,及魁北克的寂靜革命。非巧合之下,香港當時則正步向前所未有的繁盛期,同時政治上又有很大的隱憂,中國的文化大革命正逐步南移,左派分子因而奮力挑戰英國的管治,有時甚至動用武力。

1967年,當時的法國總統戴高樂,出訪當年的滿地可博覽會時,他高呼:「自由魁北克萬歲!」這句無恥的口號,被加拿大及法國傳媒狠批違反外交禮節,他與加拿大總理皮爾遜(現任總理杜魯多父親皮亞是當時的司法部長)之間更引發外交爭執。對魁北克人來說,這是要號召擺脫渥太華、或者加拿大英語區(與英國關係密切)的羈絆,維護他們的獨立。這次革命,在分離主義者及聯邦主義者之間,悄悄地劃清界線。

在兩地的情況,那段時期都是定義為大規模地掙脫固有規範:魁省一直由羅馬天主教勢力主導,遇上世俗化抬頭,政教分離,把教會從教育、衛生及福利分開;香港的殖民地政府也大力地催谷公眾教育,香港市民也躁進加班的行例,繁榮興旺隨之而來。種子是播下了,正如激進分子及法國五月風暴的領袖吉斯馬後來指出,法國這場運動的成功基於「它是一場社會革命而非政治」。這可套用於六十年代任何地方,包括香港和魁北克。克勞德朱特拉,魁省電影的拓荒者,也是分離主義者,在他1971年的《安東尼叔叔》裡,呈現了社會演變的圖景。電影以1949年艱苦的Asbestos罷工期間的聖誕節為背景,說一個成長故事,現在普遍認為這一場運動開創了後來的寂靜革命。在電影裡那傳統的採礦小鎮中,天主教的保守現狀正面臨瓦解,但當時人們未意識到。《安東尼叔叔》是魁北克電影的里程碑(事實上在加拿大電影界的確如此,儘管克勞德朱特拉於2016年因戀童癖的指控,被褫奪了不少以他命名的獎項及紀念物),提醒觀眾運動雖過了二十年,但魁北克仍受制於聯邦制度。

對於兩地,七十年代是充滿動盪和變革。1960年開始的寂靜革命,到1976年達至高峰,由René Lévesque帶領、主張魁北克獨立的的魁北克人黨,進入了省政府,其後不久實施101議案,即法語憲章,奠定了法語為魁北克的官方語言。即是說如一個香港人移居滿地可,並在當地開餐館,他們的招牌都不能用中文字。多年以來法案一直受爭議。民族主義在七十年代勢不可擋,致使加拿大歷史上一件最可恥的事件提早發生,極度侵犯市民人權及自由。激進的分離主義組織魁北克解放陣線(FLQ),綁架了英國駐滿地可貿易專員James Cross,並殺害魁北克勞工部長Pierre Laporte,揭開了魁北克的十月危機,促使總理皮亞杜魯多行使那苛刻又令人反動的戰爭措施法令,部署軍人搜查,剝削公民自由及權益。不用說,十月危機把學生推上街頭,令魁北克及加拿大加添無數的政治顏色。也有人猜測,由於激進的FLQ支持者勢力漸趨衰弱,直接令魁北克人黨崛起。

從六十年代延續下來的反動,加上這次佈滿士兵的滿地可街頭而產生的一股新的民族主義力量,衍生出一連串具開創性的獨立電影製作,都為加拿大其中最好的電影。像《安東尼叔叔》的攝影師米修布洛特1974年執導的《命令》,和魁北克獨立電影教父尚皮亞利費華1977年拍的《藍波逝去的故鄉》。前者為半紀錄半劇情的電影,詳述五位公民在十月危機中所受的磨難,值得注意的是措拖的實行特別免除操英語的其他加拿大省份。電影指控政府過度干預的訊息仍適用於現在,如2015年通過嚴酷的C51法案(以及後來的修訂)。後者用富詩意的手法,評論殖民主義的後遺如何籠罩現代的加拿大和魁北克,配以異於常人的目光批判魁北克與法國的相連,卻終遭割離。香港人對於這些情況也感同身受。

在同一時期,改革在當時的香港也是當務之急的事,那時香港也開始走向殖民地時代的終結,可是港督麥理浩仍致力為香港開啟光明的經濟前景,及打造國際化的未來。為此,他大大增建學校及改革社會福利,還有也許至為關鍵的是,當警察貪污成風,成立了廉政公署;同樣地,他也令香港走向國際化,及置於身份認同的十字路口。法國捨棄魁北克,同樣見於英國之於香港,香港境內數十年都激辯着如何對付這個問題。 當八、九十年代到來,兩地也穩步踏上新路途,把六、七十年代的動亂置之腦後,信奉1980年代的「發錢寒」、「貪婪是好的」的資本思想。在大多數已發展世界的每一個角落,財富增長,經濟起飛,甚至過度發展才是王道。不過來到此時,魁北克和香港開始分道掦鑣,各自尋找他們的身份。魁北克人黨在1976年首次勝出大選,加上1980年及1995年的獨立公投,界定了魁北克的民族意識,或者是身份。與此同時,香港亦步上主權移交之路。對兩地的社會、政治和經濟,這都是里程碑,亦帶着大大的陰霾。

八十年代,中國領導人鄧小平也明確表明香港回歸中華人民共和國不會一夜之間發生,並提出「一國兩制」。同時,香港電影業蓬勃起來,每年香港電影的產量都刷新紀錄,讓這個城市足以被列入世界電影地圖,還有很多獨立製片人,他們滿腦子是香港九七的想像。這段期間,過百萬人高喊支持1989年北京天安門學生運動,香港真的開始伸縮它的半自主肌了。風格化的警匪驚慄片,贏得亞洲及海外「cult」片觀眾的追捧,被譽為新黑色電影的瑰寶,扮演的角色如同荷里活戰後的黑色電影,旁敲側擊地談政治。

在殖民主義式微的年代,香港變成像美國西部般混亂,而魁北克則渡過了兩次獨立公投,兩次都以否決告終。1980年,Lévesque的政府認為,獨立公投未竟成功(支持聯邦制與要求獨立分別為六成及四成),表示魁北克人仍未預備獨挑大樑。十五年後的1995年,這次否決,支持與反對獨立的距離拉得更近了,分別為49.4%及50.6%,相比之下,英國脫歐公投有如壓倒性通過。八十年代的電影也開始分析時勢,有法蘭斯麥高維治的《好心放開我》(1980),諷喻獨立、社會的停滯、或者階級懸殊。而丹尼阿肯1982年的紀錄片《舒適與冷漠》,探討第一次公投的失敗原因,是來自當時的社會風氣,那種自鳴得意、認為「貪婪是好的」的心態。阿肯雄霸了八十年代,但之後其作品題材漸趨溫和;而他的《美利堅帝國的衰亡》(1986)和《滿地可耶穌》(1989),反映魁北克人普遍厭倦政治,反而樂於縱情聲色犬馬,有時甚至於損及自身。九十年代是自省及探索的年代,身為魁北克主權擁護者的皮亞法拉度,他的《十月危城》(1994),透過身為工人階級的綁架者FLQ的角度重現十月危機的面貌,對繁榮、貧富懸殊已根深蒂固的八十年代,提出控訴。劇場導演羅拔利伯殊的處男作《我為兄狂》(1995),藉着一個男人尋根的足跡,把寂靜革命前的魁北克,即希治閣《懺情記》(1952)裡的魁北克,以及現代化、經歷公投後的加拿大省府串連起來。

1997年的亞洲金融危機、美國世貿恐襲、2003年香港的(也是世界的)非典型肺炎危機,加拿大2008年開始的經濟衰退⋯⋯千禧年代給魁北克和香港帶來新的挑戰。2007年,加拿大總理Stephen Harper在眾議院動議,正式承認魁北克是有別於加拿大聯邦的國家,似乎迫使魁北克人以及類魁北克人,重新評估獨立的意義。2014年,魁北克未來聯盟黨魁François Legault,跟加拿大CTV News的電台主持說,他的執政黨政府沒有興趣就主權問題作另一次公投。他繼而推論現在是時候重新認識加拿大。新一代魁北克導演矛盾地拍下一些既個人又外向的作品。丹尼斯維爾諾夫的《理工學院屠殺案》(2009)探索1989年一名仇恨女性的人槍殺學院學生的事件,薩維杜蘭的《殺死我阿媽》(2009),描繪了年輕男同性戀者與母親的愛恨交纏,馬修丹尼斯及西蒙拉華的《革命半途而廢的人終將自掘墳墓》(2016)以激進的筆調描寫中產階級的激進主義。這些電影都普遍地強調魁北克人決不屈從,並承認魁北克是世界的一部份。

同一時期,香港亦身處困局,魁北克早於八十年代已艱苦地經歷過。諷刺的是,為了配合一帶一路的發展,中國對香港的干預愈來愈多,連廣東話也受威脅,同時「分離」一詞亦會招致北京的嚴懲和盛怒,香港人和香港電影都反思並叩問自己到底是誰?究竟是甚麼?又屬於哪裡?在重拾身份及自主的權杖的路上,魁北克已暫停了一陣子。香港人一旦自治受到衝擊,也不顧其繁華安逸的形象,誓會作出反抗。在2003年當23條強行呈上立法會預備審議的時候,五十萬人上街抗議;2014年由學生發起的雨傘運動,當北京否決香港的選舉改革建議,十萬人佔領香港主要的商業幹道近八十天。今年四月到六月,備受爭議的《逃犯引渡條例》先引發十三萬人,繼而發展至約一百萬人及二百萬人上街,是香港自回歸以來最大的抗議遊行。伴隨着香港市民的這些行動,獨立電影,亦在復興之中,由充滿基層不滿聲音的合輯電影《十年》(2015),到忠實的獨立派導演陳果的《三夫》(2018)。香港和魁北克,縱使社會和地理均相去甚遠,但他們卻好像從沒如此相連過。

(中文翻譯:郭青峰)

To look at them on the surface, Hong Kong and Quebec would seem to have little in common. Asia and Canada couldn’t be more distinct physically, socially and culturally, despite the appearance of Queen Elizabeth II on some coins and notes. Hong Kong and Quebec, however, do have their similarities as cultural and linguistic outliers within a larger state. Where Quebec has been historically vocal and politically active with regards to its nationhood, Hong Kong’s awakening has been more recent as well as more low-key in many ways, including in its cinema.

“Separation” is a word bandied around by Quebec sovereignists with abandon, and it has at various times meant simply greater autonomy or sovereignty association with some degree of federalism for Quebec, at other times it has signalled outright independence. As Canada’s most politically active province, Quebecois, the French majority, never hesitated to be heard when their unique identity was threatened, be it through (often student-led) demonstrations or elections. Whatever the mood of La belle province, like most national cinemas, it was reflected in its art. Beginning in the 1970s, Quebec’s sometimes dueling nature was filtered through the camera lens, sadly most often back only to Quebecois; Canada’s draconian inter-provincial trade rules and mainstream English Canada’s frequent indifference to Quebec (and often itself) didn’t help. Nonetheless the voices were loud and clear, and paralleled the social movements in the province.

It can be argued the modern era that saw a true cementing of Quebecois identity, of nationality, began with the triple whammy of a political gaffe by Charles de Gaulle, global counter-culture movements exemplified in the Haight-Ashbury scene in the United States and May 68 in France, and the Quiet Revolution in Quebec. Not coincidentally Hong Kong was in the grips of one of its most prosperous periods of growth ever — and one of its most politically fraught, with China’s Cultural Revolution trickling down and giving rise to leftist groups dedicated to challenging British rule — sometimes violently.

In 1967, then-French president Charles de Gaulle uttered the infamous phrase, “Vive le Quebec libre,” on a state visit for Expo 67 in Montreal. De Gaulle was lambasted in the Canadian and French media for the breach of protocol, and it sparked a diplomatic tussle between De Gaulle and Canadian Prime Minister Lester Pearson (current PM Justin Trudeau’s father Pierre was justice minister at the time). For Quebecois it was a vindicating rallying cry for independence from the yoke of Ottawa, or English Canada (heavily associated with the British). With the revolution quietly raging lines were drawn between separatist and federalist.

In both cases, the period was defined by a wholesale shift away from what was to that point the norm: the predominantly Roman Catholic province experienced a rise in secularism and separated the church from education, health and welfare. Hong Kong’s colonial government gave an aggressive boost to public education and its people began the long march to even longer working hours and the prosperity that went with them. The seeds were sown, and as activist and May 68 leader Alain Geismar later pointed out, the French movement succeeded “as a social revolution, not as a political one.” That could be said of the ’60s everywhere, including Hong Kong and Quebec. Trailblazing filmmaker and separatist Claude Jutra reflected on the shifting social landscape in 1971’s My Uncle Antoine. The Christmas set coming-of-age story unfolds during a labour strike, based on the bitter 1949 Asbestos Strike, now widely regarded as a seminal event that led directly to the Quiet Revolution. Though no one realised it at the time, the small traditional mining town in the film was about to see its conservative, Roman Catholic status quo disrupted. My Uncle Antoine is a milestone of Quebecois cinema (in truth, in Canadian cinema, despite the 2016 allegations of paedophilia that saw Jutra’s name stricken from several awards and monuments) and reminded viewers 20 years after the events in the film that Quebec was still confined within a federal system.

For both territories, the 1970s was about turbulence and reform. The Quiet Revolution that began in 1960 reached its zenith when René Lévesque’s pro-sovereignty Parti Québécois came to provincial power in 1976 and soon thereafter enacted Bill 101, the Charter of the French Language, which cemented French as the official language of Quebec. It meant that if a Hongkonger moved to Montreal and opened a restaurant, there could be no Chinese characters on its signage. The bill remained controversial for years. Nationalism took on added fervour in the 70s, peaking early with one of Canada’s most shameful breaches of domestic rights and freedoms in its history. The October Crisis unfolded when radical separatist group Front de libération du Québec (FLQ) kidnapped British Trade Commissioner James Cross and later kidnapped and murdered Quebec Minister of Labour Pierre Laporte, prompting PM Pierre Trudeau to invoke the draconian and reactionary War Measures Act, deploy the military and suspend some civil liberties. Needless to say, October Crisis sent students to the streets and would colour Quebec and Canadian politics in myriad ways; it is speculated that flagging support for the radicalism of the FLQ directly resulted in the rise of the Parti Québécois.

The lingering effects of the 60s and the renewed nationalist vigour — there were soldiers on the streets of Montreal — birthed a rash of groundbreaking independent cinema and the production of some of the best films ever made in Canada. Les Ordres by My Uncle Antoine cinematographer Michel Brault in 1974, and Quebec indie cinema godfather Jean Pierre Lefebvre’s The Old Country Where Rimbaud Died in 1977. The former docudrama details the ordeal suffered by five civilians during the crisis, which notably had special exemptions in English Canada, and is an indictment of government overreach made current by the passage (and later amendment) of the even more heavy handed Bill C51 in 2015. The latter is a poetic comment on how the legacy of colonialism shades Canada and Quebec’s modern world, laced with uncharacteristic criticism of Quebec’s connection to France and France’s disconnect from it. Both are circumstances Hongkongers will empathise with.

At the same time, reform was the order of the day in Hong Kong as well. It was also the beginning of the end for Hong Kong as a colony. Nonetheless Governor, Murray MacLehose was dedicated to positioning Hong Kong for a bright financial, international future, and did so with more school and social welfare reforms, and perhaps most crucially the foundation of the ICAC, created in the wake of a stream of police corruption scandals. By the same token, the drive to internationalisation put the city at an identity crossroads; the disconnect France had with Quebec was soon to be mirrored by the UK in Hong Kong. The city began an internal debate it would continue to wrestle with it in the coming decades.

By the time the 1980s and 90s rolled around both territories were forging on new paths, putting the upheaval of the 1960s and 70s behind them and embracing the junk bond-mad, “Greed is good,” 1980s. In almost every corner of the developed world wealth was on the rise; economies were booming and excess was de rigueur. But it was here that Quebec and Hong Kong began to diverge in their respective quests for identity. Alongside the Parti Québécois's first election victory in 1976, the 1980 and 1995 referendums are nearly as defining for Quebec nationalism, and perhaps identity, as Hong Kong’s passage from one overlord to another. Both are social, political and economic milestones with long shadows.

It was in the 1980s that Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping also acknowledged Hong Kong’s coming reintegration with the PRC would never happen overnight, and proposed the “one country two systems” policy. Hong Kong’s film industry boomed as well, seeing record number of film productions each year, effectively putting the city on the international film map — including the scores of independent filmmakers who had plenty on their minds with 1997 looming. Hong Kong truly began flexing it semi-autonomous muscles during this period, starting with over a million people loudly showing support for protesting students in Beijing at Tiananmen Square in 1989. The stylish thrillers that were winning cult audiences across Asia and overseas, acclaimed as neo-noir jewels, were increasingly playing the same role as Hollywood noir cinema did in the post-war years: making political comments that could not be spoken overtly.

While Hong Kong was transforming into a Wild West in the waning years of colonialism, Quebec weathered two referendums on separation, both of which ended in defeat. In 1980, Lévesque’s government took the (then) narrow defeat — a 60/40 split between federalism and independence — as a sign that Quebecois weren’t ready to go it alone just yet. Fifteen years later in 1995 that defeat was down to margin of 50.6/49.4, numbers that make Brexit look like a landslide. On screens the 80s started analytically, with Francis Mankiewicz’s allegory for independence, or social stagnation, or class disparity, Good Riddance (1980), and Denys Arcand’s 1982 documentary Comfort and Indifference, which explored the first referendum’s failure, suggesting a complacent “Greed is good” climate carried the day. Arcand dominated the decade, but he himself soon gave way to less charged material. The Decline of the American Empire (1986) and Jesus of Montreal (1989) mirrored average Quebecois’ weariness with politics and keener interest in personal indulgence, sometimes to the detriment of self. The 90s were introspective and searching, and so sovereignist Pierre Falardeau’s October (1994) revisits the October Crisis from the perspective of the working class FLQ cell that carried off the crime, a film that’s a reaction to the booming 80s that only cemented wealth disparity. Theatre director Robert Lepage’s film debut The Confessional (1995) toggles between pre-Quiet Revolution Quebec, City of Alfred Hitchcock’s I Confess (1952), and the modern post-referendum provincial capital, following one man’s search for his roots.

A financial crisis in Asia in 1997, the World Trade Center terrorist attack, Hong Kong (and the world’s) SARS crisis in 2003, a recession in Canada that began in 2008 … The new millennium brought about new challenges for Quebec and Hong Kong. Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s 2007 motion in the House of Commons that officially recognised Quebec as a distinct nation within a united Canada may have compelled Quebecois and Quebecers alike to take a moment to re-evaluate the meaning of independence. In 2014, current Coalition Avenir Quebec premier François Legault told Canadian broadcaster CTV News his CAQ government isn’t interested in another referendum on sovereignty. He theorises it’s time to come to a new understanding with Canada. A new generation of Quebecois directors are paradoxically making more personal and outward looking films. Denis Villeneuve explores a misogynist 1989 mass shooting in Polytechnique (2009), Xavier Dolan’s I Killed My Mother (2009) charts the complex love-hate relationship between a young gay man and his mother, and Those Who Make Revolution Halfway Only Dig Their Own Graves (2016) by Mathieu Denis and Simon Lavoie is a radical tract about bourgeois radicalism. There’s a universality to the films that, while by no means signalling Quebecois surrender, acknowledges Quebec is part of the world.

At the same time, Hong Kong finds itself in the quagmire Quebec waded through in the 80s. Ironically, as the Belt and Road brings the PRC ever closer, the discrete Cantonese language is threatened, and the word “separation” can incur the punishing wrath of Beijing, Hongkongers and Hong Kong films are looking inward and asking who they are, what they are and where they belong; in a way picking up the identity and autonomy baton Quebec has set down for a moment. Despite its glitzy, devil-may-care image, Hongkongers react when their autonomy is challenged. Half a million people took to the streets in 2003 when the loathed security bill Article 23 was on the table in Legislative Council. The student-led Umbrella Movement of 2014 saw 100,000 people blocking the crucial commercial districts every day for around 80 nearly three months when election reforms were shot down by Beijing. April and then again in June a controversial extradition bill drew, first, 130,000 then an estimated one million, and then two million to the streets — the largest protest in the SAR since the handover. Alongside the civil action, indie cinema finds itself in the midst of a renaissance, from the angry grassroots anthology Ten Years (2015) to indie stalwart Fruit Chan’s Three Husbands (2018). They might be worlds apart socially and geographically, but Quebec and Hong Kong have never seemed more connected.

(Chinese translated by Kwok Ching Fung)

Elizabeth Kerr

滿地可協和大學電影系畢業生,多倫多土生土長的她是一位作者及編輯,居於香港十五年推。她為不同的媒體機構撰寫關於電影的文章,包括The Hollywood Reporter、SCMP、Zolima,以及釜山國際電影節。  

A graduate of the film studies department at Concordia University in Montreal, Toronto native Elizabeth Kerr is a writer and editor who has lived in Hong Kong for 15 years. She writes on film and culture for a variety of publications and organisations, including The Hollywood Reporter, SCMP, Zolima and the Busan International Film Festival.