The introduction of electives relating to film in the Hong Kong schooling system is certainly a positive step toward the building of film/media literacy. However, its approach is still far from a structured and critical one. Take the film electives in the Language classes as an example. It focuses mainly on literature itself, with film only as a complementary text rather than an art form on its own. Stereotypical understanding of moving images might lead to a wrong impression that?film is "easier-to-digest" than classics, thus downgrading film to simply a fast-consumed substitute for literature.
Here, the philosophy and curriculum of film courses relating to literature in countries like the UK and France should be a source of valuable inspiration to us. Students are encouraged to navigate freely between film and literature. It is their belief that investigation of the audiovisual and written text will enhance their understanding of both. To accomplish this, it is important for students to learn how to actively "read" an audiovisual text.
When it comes to application of the film media to Liberal Studies, it is essential to bear in mind that all forms of media are loaded with meaning and grounded in linguistic constructions of power and ideology. For example, a documentary on a certain social issue should not be seen as "the one and only one" truth. To be able to understand media representations and to think critically, one must learn how to "read" films or moving images, bringing us back to the basics of film language.
As for ApL, it is more a vocational training than a basic educational platform for all students. It focuses more on technical aspects, paying less attention on the aesthetics of moving images. Ideally, OLE does have the effect of raising students!| interest and understanding about films and visual culture, but it is often a one-off learning experience without a structured and sustainable system in our current curriculum.
Hong Kong has been seeking a well-structured and comprehensive curriculum in film literacy. The courses offered by the Jockey Club Cine Academy will offer a platform to prepare our teachers to leverage on the new senior secondary curriculum, and enhance students' knowledge in the film media.