<i>West of the Tracks</i>: History and Class-Consciousness

Lu Xinyu and J. X. Zhang

in The New Chinese Documentary Film Movement

Published by Hong Kong University Press

Published in print September 2010 | ISBN: 9789888028528
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9789882207202 | DOI:
West of the Tracks: History and Class-Consciousness

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Tiexi—“West of the Tracks”—is a district of Shenyang, the city once known as Mukden. For 50 years it was China's oldest and largest industrial base, a fortress of the socialist planned economy. This chapter examines the significance Wang Bing's decision to look at the death of a heavy industry district that once symbolized the triumph of socialism. It argues that the film demands attention to the price being paid for marketization, in terms of both personal upheaval and the abandonment of socialist ideals. The film stands as a monument to the otherwise undocumented destruction that accompanies the more frequently celebrated construction that is going on in other parts of China.

Keywords: Tiexi; socialism; China; socialist ideals; Wang Bing; industrial base

Chapter.  9074 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Film

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