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Cinema, Space, and Polylocality in a Globalizing China$
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Yingjin Zhang

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780824833374

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824833374.001.0001

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Space of Subjectivity

Space of Subjectivity

Independent Documentary

(p.103) Chapter 5 Space of Subjectivity
Cinema, Space, and Polylocality in a Globalizing China

Yingjin Zhang

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter examines the claims of independent Chinese filmmakers to truth and reality as well as their experiments with various documentary modes and styles. Focusing on the issues of truth, subjectivity, and audience, it explores truth claims as well as the dilemma of self-positioning and audience interaction in Chinese independent filmmaking and videomaking. It also discusses the extent to which independent production and overseas investment and distribution affect the reception of independent films and videos as documents of truth, and how to reconcile the politics of such unusual circulation of the truths and poetics of independent film- and videomaking in contemporary China. Using the film Xiao Wu as example, the chapter describes a pattern of drastic difference in the reception of “truth” inside and outside China. Finally, it considers the origins, styles, problems, solutions, and directions of the Chinese independent documentary.

Keywords:   Chinese filmmakers, Chinese filmmaking, subjectivity, audience, self-positioning, independent filmmaking, reception, independent film, Xiao Wu, independent documentary

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