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Divided LensesScreen Memories of War in East Asia$
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Michael Berry and Chiho Sawada

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780824851514

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824851514.001.0001

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War, History, and Remembrance in Chinese Cinema

War, History, and Remembrance in Chinese Cinema

(p.21) Chapter 1 War, History, and Remembrance in Chinese Cinema
Divided Lenses

Yingjin Zhang

University of Hawai'i Press

With an emphasis on Chinese cinematic treatments of conflicts in the Asia Pacific as exercises in remembrance, this chapter pays particular attention to the question of, in Jay Winter’s words, “who remembers, when, where, and how.” This chapter provides an overview of Chinese war films over the past century, identifying prevailing modes and paradigms, and analyzing alternative tactics and images. Looking beneath the surface of state-sanctioned collective memory of Chinese nationalism and Communist heroism, we realize that subtle, sometimes subversive acts of remembrance have all along been staged or referenced in Chinese war films, thus generating an intricate dynamics involving public and private histories, memories, and remembrances. Special attention is given to Chinese war films of the Maoist period, as well as extensive discussion of Jiang Wen’s Devils on the Doorstep and the war films of Fifth generation director Wu Ziniu.

Keywords:   Chinese Cinema, war films, film history, Korean War, Wu Ziniu, Jiang Wen, remembrance, heroism

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