Autobiography, then, has the unenviable task of confronting, confounding, and even confirming the assumptions, impressions, and (mis)conceptions about the author’s or filmmaker’s identificatory positionings.
—Alisa S. Lebow1
Born after the Cultural Revolution, I began to know about that historical event from the odd line in a textbook and through occasional films and television dramas set in that period. To a large extent, filmic representations, be they memoirs or fictions, form the way I perceive and make sense of this historical period that I never experienced. The Cultural Revolution, though known to many people as ten years of turmoil and disaster, seems to me a distant, tough, and yet passionate era. My parents recount anecdotes of their schooldays, and they sometimes even express longing for the ‘good old days’ of innocence and carefreeness. In the 1995 film ...
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