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What does it mean to be "Chinese?" This controversial question has sparked off a never-ending process of image-making in Chinese and Chinese-speaking communities throughout the twentieth century. This introduction to Chinese national cinema, written by a leading scholar, covers three "Chinas": mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. It traces the formation, negotiation and problematization of the national on the Chinese screen over ninety years. Historical and comparative perspectives bring out the parallel developments in the three Chinas, while critical analysis explores thematic and stylistic changes over time.
As well as exploring artistic achievements and ideological debates, Chinese National Cinema also emphasizes industry research and market analysis. The author concludes that despite the rigid censorship systems and the pressures on film makers, Chinese national cinema has never succeeded in projecting a single unified picture, but rather portrays many Chinas.