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Extracting narratives from reality: Wang Bing's counter-narrative of the China Dream
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Asian, Middle Eastern and Turkish Studies.
Number of Authors: 12017 (English)In: Studies in Documentary Film, ISSN 1750-3280, E-ISSN 1750-3299, Vol. 11, no 3, p. 217-231Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Wang Bing's work provides a peculiar example of 'engaged filmmaking' without being openly oppositional towards the Chinese state. Although not easily included in the category of activist filmmakers, Wang Bing conveys political statements undermining the rhetoric of the People's Republic of China. From Tiexi qu. West of the Tracks (2003) on the dismissal of the industrial district in Liaoning, to Three Sisters (2012) and 'Til Madness Do Us Part (2013), both shot in remote areas of Yunnan, his cinema can be read as a corpus of works that address the contradictions imbued in the rise of China as a super-power. They bear witness to inequalities, uneven development and - as most of Wang Bing's documentaries do - also testify to the changing conditions of labor in China and their impact on people's lives. His recent Bitter Money (2016), shot in a large textile district of Zhejiang, takes labor as its focus and reaches one of the centers of China's wealth. Through a discussion of Wang Bing's filmmaking and the trajectory articulated by his documentaries, this article argues that Wang Bing's cinema provides a striking counter-narrative to the 'China Dream', the slogan that epitomizes the current leadership of Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 11, no 3, p. 217-231
Keywords [en]
Chinese documentary, activism, witnessing, Wang Bing, China Dream, film festivals
National Category
Studies on Film
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-153690DOI: 10.1080/17503280.2017.1357107ISI: 000423928000005OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-153690DiVA, id: diva2:1187995
Available from: 2018-03-06 Created: 2018-03-06 Last updated: 2018-03-06Bibliographically approved

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Pollacchi, Elena
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