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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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Alternative Archive: China’s Independent Documentary Culture

Alternative Archive: China’s Independent Documentary Culture

(p.135) 8 Alternative Archive: China’s Independent Documentary Culture
The New Chinese Documentary Film Movement

Chris Berry

Lisa Rofel

Hong Kong University Press

This chapter turns to the complicated question of the social and political status of these films. Rather than label them as “oppositional,” “underground,” or “resistance,” the discussion argues that “alternative” understood in a specifically Chinese context is the most appropriate nomination of the movement. It investigates the idea of “alternative” culture to capture the specificity of China's post-1989 culture and explores the New Documentary Movement as part of it. The chapter also examines how alternativeness is manifested in the New Documentary Movement—in its themes, formal properties, spaces of production and viewing, and archiving characteristics.

Keywords:   New Documentary Movement, alternative culture, Chinese documentaries, post-1989 culture, civil society

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