Submission Title

A Platform to Speak and The World to Listen: Creative Freedom, Government Policy, and Chinese Film

Location

Vivian A. Bull Music Center: Delkin Recital Hall

Subject Area

Global Studies

Description

When considering the Chinese domestic film industry, debates often arise regarding government involvement and the degree to which this interferes with filmmakers’ creative freedom. A common assertion raises concerns of censorship and propaganda with the proposal that state control continues to be overbearing and manipulative, but others challenge this view and maintain that the film industry is closer to a free market now that government intervention has been scaled back. This dissension naturally raises the question: how do Chinese government policies towards their domestic film industry impact filmmakers’ creative freedom? This tension is examined with the claim that Chinese government policies towards their domestic film industry constrain narratives in exchange for enabling greater scope. The claim is explored under the lens of Chinese domestic filmmaker Jia Zhangke, who was once a banned director that illegally produced films outside of the government system but was later welcomed into the fold and now produces films officially within the system. Particular focus is given to the underground film Platform and the aboveground film The World to investigate what effects government policy has had on the production of these domestic films.

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A Platform to Speak and The World to Listen: Creative Freedom, Government Policy, and Chinese Film

Vivian A. Bull Music Center: Delkin Recital Hall

When considering the Chinese domestic film industry, debates often arise regarding government involvement and the degree to which this interferes with filmmakers’ creative freedom. A common assertion raises concerns of censorship and propaganda with the proposal that state control continues to be overbearing and manipulative, but others challenge this view and maintain that the film industry is closer to a free market now that government intervention has been scaled back. This dissension naturally raises the question: how do Chinese government policies towards their domestic film industry impact filmmakers’ creative freedom? This tension is examined with the claim that Chinese government policies towards their domestic film industry constrain narratives in exchange for enabling greater scope. The claim is explored under the lens of Chinese domestic filmmaker Jia Zhangke, who was once a banned director that illegally produced films outside of the government system but was later welcomed into the fold and now produces films officially within the system. Particular focus is given to the underground film Platform and the aboveground film The World to investigate what effects government policy has had on the production of these domestic films.