Chinese cinema has played a significant role in exposing China’s political and social situation between 1950 and 1990. This period was characterised mainly by the suppression of dissent by the CPC. During the early years of the PRC, cinema was used as an instrument of propaganda to promote the ideals of the Party and glorify its leaders. Over time, filmmakers began to deploy cinema to expose the harsh realities of life under the Communist regime, particularly for ordinary people.
To Live《活着》: Movie Review
“To Live”《活着》, a Chinese drama film released in 1994, was directed by the acclaimed filmmaker Zhang Yimou. The movie is an adaptation of Yu Hua’s novel of the same name and is also referred to as “Lifetimes” in specific English versions. The movie was banned after release and unbanned in 2008 for its depiction of the Cultural Revolution. The director, Zhang Yimou, is also popular for directing the opening ceremony of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.
Understanding the Changing Social Fabric of China: ‘Last Train Home’
Last Train Home (归途列车) documents the arduous journey of migrant workers in China struggling to reunite with their children for the New Year holidays (过年). Directed by Lixin Fan and set in the mid-2000s in Guangdong and Sichuan, the documentary captures the emotional and physical turbulence of the largest human migration in the world. It follows the journey of Zhang parents, Changhua and Suqin, who fight to secure seats on a train to their village in Sichuan where their son and daughter, Yang and Qin, live with their grandmother.
Connecting Epidemics in China: Reviewing Documentary ‘The Blood of Yingzhou District’ in the backdrop of Zero-COVID
The Blood of Yingzhou District, a short film documentary directed by Ruby Yang, follows the lives of children orphaned by the AIDS epidemic which spread despair across rural China. The 2006 Academy Award-winning documentary set in the Yingzhou district of Funyang, Anhui, China, takes us through the struggles, prejudices as well as stigma faced by orphaned children, some of whom have also contracted the infection themselves.