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Kiwi Dragons in Love: The Chinese Diaspora and New Zealand Interracial Screen Romance

  • Maria GalikowskiEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

In an increasingly multicultural New Zealand, film-makers are embracing the challenge of confronting on-screen issues that arise from the social and cultural interfaces between the country’s mainstream (Pākehā) population and its various diasporas, of which the Chinese comprise the largest group. Beginning in 2011, three films were produced in as many years on the hitherto unexplored area of interracial romance between Chinese and Pākehā New Zealanders. This chapter presents close readings of two of these films—Ghost Bride (dir. David Blyth, 2013) and My Wedding and Other Secrets (dir. Roseanne Liang, 2011). Both films posit scenarios of cultural and generational tensions arising from an interracial relationship, as a result of the clash between traditional Chinese values and the modern values espoused by mainstream New Zealand society. These tensions and conflicts are discussed in the section on Ghost Bride in terms of how the gender identities of the characters who form the central “love” triangle in the film are created and presented in ways that problematize Chinese cultural values and valorise mainstream New Zealand values. My Wedding and Other Secrets is explored from the perspective of identity bifurcation or the adoption of two distinct cultural identities, which results from the need to negotiate two cultural terrains that are in some degree at odds with each other. The chapter ends on a hopeful note, citing the possibility of enhanced connectivity and understanding between the two communities when they successfully negotiate the challenges that can accompany interracial romance and marriage.

Keywords

Chinese diaspora Interracial romance Gender identity Identity bifurcation New Zealand film Diasporic film Representation Diasporic identities Film 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of WaikatoHamiltonNew Zealand

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