From River Elegy to Amazing China : On the Evolution of Nationalist Discourse in Modern China

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Separated by 30 years of rapid economic growth, the divergent aesthetics of two Chinese documentaries River Elegy (Heshang, 1988) and Amazing China (Lihaile, wode guo, 2018) merit a comparative cross-inquiry. While River Elegy expressed a younger generation’s admiration for the azure Western culture with its overseas expeditions and scientific ingenuity, Amazing China turns the tables, and in its depiction of the People’s Republic as a maritime empire celebrates the sheer power of nationalized technology. The comparison provides yet another, contemporary example of the startling flexibility with which the party-state avails itself of subversive imageries at the expense of their own creators.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationChina and the world : language, culture, politics : papers from the International conference, jointly organized by the Department of Sinology at Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski" and the Department of China Studies at Xi'an Jiantong – Liverpool University, 12–13 December 2019
EditorsAlexander ALEXIEV, Pawel ZYGADLO
PublisherSt. Kliment Ohridski University Press
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9789510750712
ISBN (Print)9789510750750
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • River Elegy
  • nationalism
  • intellectuals
  • aesthetics
  • party-state


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