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Children of Marx and Coca-ColaChinese Avant-garde Art and Independent Cinema$
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Xiaoping Lin

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780824833367

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824833367.001.0001

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Behind Chinese Walls

Behind Chinese Walls

The Uncanny Power of Matriarchy in Wang Chao’s Anyang Orphan

Chapter:
(p.115) Chapter 5 Behind Chinese Walls
Source:
Children of Marx and Coca-Cola
Author(s):

Xiaoping Lin

Publisher:
University of Hawai'i Press
DOI:10.21313/hawaii/9780824833367.003.0005

This chapter focuses on Anyang Orphan (2001), a critically acclaimed film directed by Wang Chao, one of the Sixth Generation Chinese filmmakers whose works portray the turbulence of human life under China’s new capitalistic market economy. As Wang Chao stated, Anyang Orphan was an “auteurist” gaze at people living on the margin of the city, such as unemployed factory workers, gangsters, and prostitutes, who were socially displaced by the country’s rapid economic transformation. A central motif in Anyang Orphan is a variety of walls: the ancient city wall, the wall of a closed factory, and the wall of a ruined communal apartment building from a bygone socialist era. These walls serve as a cinematic metaphor of a troubled socialist state and a broken traditional family, which the director describes as the heavy “social price” of China’s economic progress in the past decades.

Keywords:   Anyang Orphan, Wang Chao, capitalistic market economy, economic transformation, socialist era

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