Alternative Archive: China’s Independent Documentary Culture

Chris Berry and Lisa Rofel

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:
Alternative Archive:                             China’s Independent Documentary Culture

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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

Chapter.  8803 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Film

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