HK Cinema through a Global Lens

Greetings from Hong Kong!

In just a few weeks, a new run of Hong Kong Cinema through a Global Lens is scheduled to go live. In these challenging times we are keen to offer you material and a little morale boost. We invite you to join our educational journey exploring Hong Kong culture through Hong Kong Cinema through a Global Lens, the first MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) on Hong Kong cinema to be produced anywhere in the world. The course starts on September 8, 2020.

We have talked with teachers from across the globe who have utilized our MOOC in various ways. Some are selecting one MOOC Unit to reinforce particular pedagogical objectives, some are linking our exploration of Hong Kong Cinema to general studies, global studies, cultural history or other film and digital media courses. More frequently, we find that teachers invite us into their online classrooms as “virtual guest lecturers.” (You don’t even have to feed or entertain us when we visit!) Internationally-recognized film studies scholars Professor Gina Marchetti and Dr. Aaron Han Joon Magnan-Park from the HKU Department of Comparative Literature and Dr. Stacilee Ford from the HKU Department of History, the American Studies Program, and the Gender Studies Program, have worked with the creative assistance of HKU TELI (Technology-Enriched Learning Initiative) to provide various ways to enrich your efforts, internationalize your curriculum, and add a little variety to your teaching plans.

You are also invited to join our discussion forums to share insights with learners with a range of experiences and interests. You and your students are welcome to offer your own perspectives on the films and issues we highlight. Join our learning community and find out what you have to learn and offer, regardless of how much or how little you know about Hong Kong and its cinematic scene.

You’ll find Hong Kong Cinema through a Global Lens, which is free of charge, via the EdX platform on the Internet. Be sure to click “audit” when prompted for no-strings-attached access to nearly all of our course materials.  Lively and student-centered, this MOOC is appropriate for secondary, tertiary, and lifelong learners from all corners of the globe, who have a good command of the English language. Teachers are especially welcome! As you adapt various modules and materials for your own classroom or e-learning needs, you’ll expand student perspectives while giving yourself a little breathing space to face whatever challenges arise. All modules come with subtitles in English and simplified Chinese characters.

What, specifically, awaits learners who are interested in Hong Kong Cinema Through a Global Lens? We begin with a lively and historically-grounded exploration of globalization through the lens of Hong Kong cinema, featuring crisp analyses of the actors and filmmakers whose lives and films connect the local Hong Kong scene to global histories, events, and trends. Throughout the six-unit course, students encounter stars including Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, and Maggie Cheung as well as award-winning directors such as John Woo, Mabel Cheung, Andrew Lau, Alan Mak and Wong Kar-Wai.

Each unit showcases talents, themes, and local-global connections. The cinematic canvas ranges from martial arts and heroic bloodshed films to romantic comedies and migration melodramas. Covering a range of topics, genres, and films, the course features demonstrations of swordplay and action choreography. It also tutors students in the close analysis of film techniques, uncovers the reasons for the worldwide appeal of genres such as the kung fu film, and nurtures a comparative and critical understanding of issues of gender, race, and migration. Interviews with film professionals such as directors Mabel Cheung and Andrew Lau, producer John Sham, film festival director Roger Garcia, and other guests, offer candid insights about the industry.

Best of all, the forum discussion refreshes and personalizes the course for all who engage. Not only do class conversations remain open around the clock, current issues are considered in our round-up videos from earlier offerings of the MOOC, including fascinating conversations on topics such as the recent Hong Kong political turmoil and the depiction of COVID-19 in the media.

Because we take your feedback seriously, we are proud to remind you that our MOOC was recently named one of “the 10 smartest online courses you can sign up for” by Mental Floss. We keep in touch with how and what you are learning with us. We’ve been doing this for half a decade and we hope to continue doing it when we have the option of actually going back to school as well as going to school online.

For registration:

And for more information:

All enquiries should be directed to Louis Lu /

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