Chinese 223, Fall 2013, Kauke 244, TR 2:30-3:50
Wednesday and Sunday 7-9 pm for screening
By 2050, it is expected that about 400 new cities will have emerged in China with population over one million. (Right now there are 172.) This social and economic transformation that began 30 years ago in the 1980s has created the greatest migration and urbanization in human history. As people’s ways of life change, so do their values and attitudes. This course studies a group of selected narrative films produced in the last two decades in the PRC, Taiwan, and Hong Kong as texts of self-representation in which the Chinese reinvent themselves as well as their past. These films that depict modern Chinese experiences–including colonial experience and global diaspora–are also to be looked at as attempts on the part of the directors to negotiate prevailing and countervailing cultural values. Often with a sentimental approach to pre-modern and primitive agrarian past, these films function as therapeutic fantasies for the modern individual and provide compensatory adjustments for his one-sided conscious attitudes, deep anxieties, as well as fragmented existences in a mass society.