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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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The Imagery of Postsocialist Trauma in Peacock, Shanghai Dreams, and Stolen Life

The Imagery of Postsocialist Trauma in Peacock, Shanghai Dreams, and Stolen Life

(p.129) Chapter 6 The Imagery of Postsocialist Trauma in Peacock, Shanghai Dreams, and Stolen Life
Children of Marx and Coca-Cola

Xiaoping Lin

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter discusses three 2005 films made by independent directors: Gu Changwei’s Peacock, Wang Xiaoshuai’s Shanghai Dreams, and Li Shaohong’s Stolen Life. A central character in the three movies is a young daughter who is alienated from her family, especially her working-class parents. The parents find it difficult to understand their children who have grown up under Deng Xiaoping’s policy of “reform and openness,” which has transformed a “puritan” Maoist socialist China into a country infested with all the malignant ills of new Chinese capitalism. In such a postsocialist family drama, the female protagonist is drawn into a traumatic conflict with her working-class father, who seems to embody a repressive old socialist regime in an economic and moral decline. The chapter then analyzes the three films in terms of “postsocialist trauma,” a psychological and emotional trauma that a working-class Chinese family has to endure to survive new Chinese capitalism.

Keywords:   Gu Changwei, Wang Xiaoshuai, Li Shaohong, Deng Xiaoping, Maoist socialist China, Chinese capitalism, postsocialist family drama, postsocialist trauma

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