Screening Love: The Cinematic Representation of the Cultural Revolution, 1980s to Early 1990s
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The ten-year Cultural Revolution exerts a tremendous influence on the domain of cultural production in contemporary China. After the Cultural Revolution, many filmmakers delved into the representation of this traumatic historical period and produced relevant films in the 1980s – 1990s. In these films, the motif of love is frequently employed to embody the impact of the Cultural Revolution on interpersonal relationships. What types of love relations do these films represent? How do the modes of love change over time? How do these films represent the Cultural Revolution and identify the root causes of this disastrous time? In this essay, to answer the above questions, I will explore the changing representation of love relations in the films about the Cultural Revolution: the scar films (also called post-socialist films) that prevailed in the 1980s feature romantic love, while The Blue Kite, Farewell, My Concubine and To Live directed by the fifth-generation filmmakers in the early 1990s mainly display family love. By looking into the cinematic interpretation of the Cultural Revolution, I will gain insight into the social and cultural environment in that two decades, and show that the films produced in these two different periods seek greater authenticity in representing that historical period and gradually break away from state ideology and propaganda.
DepartmentGraduate Liberal Studies
SubjectThe Cultural Revolution, Romantic Love, Family Love, Post-socialist, The Fifth Generation, Cinematic Representation
CitationLu, Jingyi (2017). Screening Love: The Cinematic Representation of the Cultural Revolution, 1980s to Early 1990s. Master's thesis, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/14826.
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Rights for Collection: Graduate Liberal Studies