Ethnic Minority Children in Post-Socialist Chinese Cinema: Allegory, Identity and Geography, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Ethnic Minority Children in Post-Socialist Chinese Cinema

Allegory, Identity and Geography, 1st Edition

By Zhenhui Yan


200 pages | 11 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9780367347871
pub: 2019-12-20
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This book examines the surprisingly large number of films about ethnic minority children in China, considering key questions such as Why are ethnic minority children becoming more intriguing to Chinese filmmakers? What are their roles in the films literally and allegorically? And how are they placed on screen geographically and why? It argues that ethnic minority children’s appeal lies in their special relationship with childhood, ethnicity, nationalism and rurality; and that for dominant Han urban adults and elite ethnic minorities they serve as "the other" for these people’s construction of themselves as self-conscious modern subjects during China’s rapid social-political transformations. This book explores the diversity of ways in which both Han and ethnic minority filmmakers take up the special features of ethnic minority children to facilitate their expression of certain ideas or ideals, as well as the roles of these films in their directing careers.

Table of Contents

1 Introduction: Ethnic minority children’s allegorical functions, identity construction, and geographies in postsocialist Chinese cinema 2 Children, nature, and animals: Dai children’s adventure in a forest 3 Natural landscapes as musical spaces: Uyghur children’s yearnings in a national narrative 4 Beijing and rural Guizhou in focalisations: Miao children’s relationships with the nation-state and ethnic tradition 5 Cinematic space in a relational construction: Heroes and a reconstruction of ethnic relationships through children’s interethnic interactions 6 Grasslands as transitional spaces of play: Mongol children’s reimagination of the world 7 A young lama as Sun Wukong: Contradictions and flexibility in a contemporary Tibetan child’s identity construction 8 Conclusion: Some observations about the images of ethnic minority children in postsocialist Chinese cinema

About the Author

Zhenhui Yan completed her thesis in the Department of Humanities and Languages at the University of Sydney, Australia

About the Series

Media, Culture and Social Change in Asia

The aim of this series is to publish original, high-quality work by both new and established scholars in the West and the East, on all aspects of media, culture and social change in Asia. New proposals are welcome, and should be sent in the first instance to the series editor, Stephanie Donald, at

Editorial Board:

Gregory N. Evon, University of New South Wales
Devleena Ghosh, University of Technology, Sydney
Michael Keane, Curtin University
Tania Lewis, RMIT University, Melbourne
Vera Mackie, University of Wollongong
Kama Maclean, University of New South Wales

Laikwan Pang, Chinese University of Hong Kong
Gary Rawnsley, Aberystwyth University
Ming-yeh Rawnsley, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
Jo Tacchi, Loughborough University
Adrian Vickers, University of Sydney
Jing Wang, MIT
Ying Zhu, Hong Kong Baptist University



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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies