Assistant Professor/MA Programme Director

PhD Chinese Studies, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Room 1109, 11/F,
Yasumoto International Academic Park

3943 1000

Originally from Belgium, I have been residing in Hong Kong for well over fifteen years. It was Hong Kong cinema that brought me here, and in many ways, it is Hong Kong cinema that continues to mediate and nourish my love for the city, its history, and its culture. My academic training was solidly in Chinese Studies, and I therefore also remain broadly interested in everything related to the Sinosphere.

When it comes to the study of Chinese-language cinemas, I aim to combine an awareness of the various contexts in which films are made and with which they interact, while also appreciating film as an art form. This balancing act runs through my teaching and writing: from my work on the history of Hong Kong crime cinema, to my research on Hong Kong film censorship, social movement documentaries, and significant recent trends in the cinemas of mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Research Interests:

  • Chinese-language cinemas
  • Film genre
  • Censorship
  • Crime films
  • Memory and trauma

Representative Publications

Books and Edited Volumes


Van den Troost, Kristof. Hong Kong Crime Films: Criminal Realism, Censorship and Society 1947-1986. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press (2023)

Journal Articles & Book Chapters


Van den Troost, Kristof. “Registers of the Melodramatic Mode: The 1980s Heroic Bloodshed Cycle in the History of the Hong Kong Crime Film.” Screen (expected in Summer 2024).


Van den Troost, Kristof. “Propagandist or Objective Observer? Independent Documentaries in/on Hong Kong’s Recent Social Movements.” Asian Education and Development Studies 11, no. 3, pp. 571-580.


Van den Troost, Kristof. “Genre and Censorship: The Crime Film in Late Colonial Hong Kong.” In Renegotiating Film Genres in East Asian Cinemas and Beyond, edited by Feng Lin and James Aston, 191-216. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2020.


Van den Troost, Kristof. “Sword, Fist, or Gun? The 1970s Origins of Contemporary Hong Kong Noir.” In Hong Kong Neo-Noir Cinema: Capital, Urban Visuality and a Criminal Modernity, edited by Esther C.M. Yau and Tony Williams, 51-74. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2017.


Van den Troost, Kristof. “Under Western Eyes? Colonial Bureaucracy, Surveillance and the Birth of the Hong Kong Crime Film.” In Surveillance in Asian Cinema: Under Eastern Eyes, edited by Karen Fang, 89-112. London: Routledge, 2017.


Van den Troost, Kristof. “Chinese National Allegory Goes West: Let the Bullets Fly.” Asian Cinema 27, no. 1 (2016): 13-28.


Van den Troost, Kristof. “War, Horror and Trauma: Japanese Atrocities on Chinese Screens.” In Chinese and Japanese Films on the Second World War, edited by King-fai Tam, Timothy Y. Tsu and Sandra Wilson, 54-66. New York: Routledge, 2014.


Van den Troost, Kristof. “Born in an Age of Turbulence: Emergence of the Modern Hong Kong Crime Film.” In Always in the Dark: A Study of Hong Kong Gangster Films, edited by Po Fung, 62-77. Hong Kong: Hong Kong Film Archive, 2014.



Wei Ping 魏萍 and Kristof Van den Troost. “Xianggang jilupian fazhan gaikuang” 香港纪录片发展概况 (The Development of Documentary Film in Hong Kong). In 2011 nian Zhongguo jilupian fazhan yanjiu baogao 2011年中国纪录片发展研究报告 (2011 Research Report on Chinese Documentary Film Development), edited by Zhang Tongdao 张同道 and Hu Zhifeng 胡智锋. Beijing: Kexue chubanshe, 2012.

Current Research Projects

2019, the Hong Kong Crime Film, RGC Early Career Scheme

2018, Political Censorship of Films in Pre-1997 Hong Kong: The 1988 Film Censorship Ordinance

Courses Offered

CHES3012/ CHES5133 Trauma and Memory in 20th and 21st Century China
CHES3101 China on Screen
CHES3102 East Asian Film Genres in a Globalizing World
CHES5001A Perspectives on Chinese Studies
CHES5002A Chinese Studies Field trip
CHES5126 China on Screen
CHES5134 East Asian Film Genres in a Globalizing World
CHES5201 Independent Study Project
CHES5202 Research Lab
CHES6010 China Seminar I
CHES6020 China Seminar II
CHES8001A Thesis Guidance
CHES8001B Thesis Guidance