Education About Asia: Online Archives

New China’s Forgotten Cinema, 1949-1966: More than Just Politics

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Several years ago when planning a course on modern Chinese history as seen through its cinema,  realized or saw a significant void. I hoped to represent each era of Chinese cinema from the eftist movement of the 1930s to the present “Sixth Generation,” but found most available subtitled films are from the post-1978 reform period. Films from the Mao Zedong period (1949–76) are particularly scarce in the West due to Cold War politics, including a trade embargo and economic blockade lasting more than two decades, and within the arts, a resistance in the West to Soviet-influenced Socialist Realism.

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