Coming out of The Box, Marching as Dykes

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In the 1980s and early 1990s the People’s Republic of China saw the blossoming of independent documentary filmmaking. Wu Wenguang, Duan Jinchuan, Zhang Yuan, and Jiang Yue launched a wave of documentary filmmaking commonly referred to as the Chinese New Documentary Movement.¹ Until the mid-1990s, this movement was monopolized by men. Starting with Li Hong’s Out of Phoenix Bridge (1997), a number of women filmmakers emerged. Female documentarists like Liu Xiaojin, Yang Lina, and Tang Danhong have focused their cameras on the turmoil and uncertain destiny faced by individuals in post-socialist China. What connects these contemporary women filmmakers, in film scholar Zhang Zhen’s view, is their focus on issues of social change particularly from the perspective of their effects on women. This approach diverges from that of their male peers in general and, in particular, the epic and idealistic perspective advocated by Dziga Vertov through his concept of “kino-eye,” and film classic The Man with a Movie Camera (1929). For these reasons, Zhang labels these women documentarists “women with video cameras.”
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe New Chinese Documentary Film Movement: For the Public Record
EditorsChris BERRY, Xinyu LU, Lisa ROFEL
PublisherHong Kong University Press
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9789888028511
ISBN (Print)9789888028528
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2010
Externally publishedYes


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