Chinese Film and Society

This class explores the societal uses and influences ascribed to Chinese film throughout the 20th century. This will necessarily lead to a focus on the intersection of film and politics. A secondary interest will be the relationship between film and other media within the context of social and political movements, including leftist nationalism in the 1930s, socialist construction in the 1950s, the Cultural Revolution in the 1960s and 1970s, and the reforms of the 1980s. In addition to this attention to Mainland film, we will also consider the rise of New Taiwanese Cinema and the Hong Kong filmic treatment of the 1997 Handover.

This course examines Chinese films in broad social, political, and cultural contexts. The specific topic varies from filmic representation of revolution and socialism to the avant-garde experimentation in post-Mao China. The approach is comparative and analytical, with a focus on the particular experiences of Chinese modernity as refracted by the visual images and cultural politics. The course is not limited to film productions of the People?s Republic of China but covers Chinese films made during the Republican period (1911-1949) and films from Taiwan and Hong Kong as well. It is also designed to inform students of the intellectual and social environment that conditions the film production and of the critical, theoretical development in Chinese film studies.

Course Information



4 Points

Term Section Instructor Schedule Location

Fall 2017

Laurence Hiley Smith Coderre
MW: 2:00 PM - 3:15 PM 19UP 101