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The New Chinese Documentary Film MovementFor the Public Record$
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Chris Berry, Xinyu Lu, and Lisa Rofel

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9789888028528

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888028528.001.0001

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Watching Documentary: Critical Public Discourses and Contemporary UrbanChinese Film Clubs

Watching Documentary: Critical Public Discourses and Contemporary UrbanChinese Film Clubs

Chapter:
(p.116) (p.117) 7 Watching Documentary: Critical Public Discourses and Contemporary UrbanChinese Film Clubs
Source:
The New Chinese Documentary Film Movement
Author(s):

Seio Nakajima

Publisher:
Hong Kong University Press
DOI:10.5790/hongkong/9789888028528.003.0007

This chapter answers the often-raised question of whether and where these “independent” and therefore “underground” productions are screened in China, by conducting an ethnographic investigation of the film clubs of Beijing and their role in the circulation and discussion of the new documentary films. According to this study, there are least four different types of film club in Beijing: “politically oriented film clubs”; “commercially oriented film clubs”; “art for art's sake film clubs”; and “artistic, commercial film clubs.” The chapter also analyzes the kinds of debates that occur in these spaces about the films that are screened. These debates address not only the distinctions between documentary and fictional film but also the influence of the West on Chinese filmmaking practices.

Keywords:   Chinese documentary, underground productions, ethnographic investigation, Beijing, film clubs, Chinese filmmaking

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