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Notes Chapter 1 1 When we originally drafted this introduction, filmmakers, artists, and intellectuals in China were somewhat optimistic about the possibilities for cultural productions and exhibitions in China. There was a more general optimism in China about a shift towards greater freedom of expression. Since then, however, there have been worrisome signs that the Chinese government has stepped up its interventions. These include the temporary closure of a well-known independent film website; the refusal to allow feminist scholar and documentary maker Ai Xiaoming to enter Hong Kong on at least one occasion; the wellpublicized struggles with Google over censorship; and the jailing of Tibetan documentary maker Dhongdup Wangchen. It is difficult to predict any particular future scenario and we do not assume linear historical developments in one direction or the other. However, at the very least we imagine the dialectical tensions over non-government-sponsored cultural works will continue. 2 Lu Xinyu, “Dangdai Zhongguo dianshi jilupian yundong” (Contemporary Chinese TV documentary movement), Dushu, no. 5 (1999); Lu Xinyu, Jilu Zhongguo: Dangdai Zhongguo xin jilu yundong (Documenting China: The New Documentary Movement in China) (Beijing: Sanlian Shudian, 2003). 3 In chronological order, some of the chapters that have appeared are: Bérénice Reynaud, “New Visions/New China: Video-Art, Documentation, and the Chinese Modernity Question,” in Michael Renov and Erika Suderburg, eds., Resolutions: Contemporary Video Practices (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1996), 229–57; Chris Berry, “On Top of the World: An Interview with Duan Jinchuan, Director of 16 Barkhor South Street,” Film International, 5, no. 2 (1997): 60­ –2; Charles Leary, “Performing the Documentary, or Making It to the Other Bank,” Senses of Cinema, no. 27 (2003), http:// (accessed December 7, 2008); Bérénice Reynaud, “Dancing with Myself, Drifting with My Camera: The Emotional Vagabonds of China’s New Documentary,” Senses of Cinema, no. 28 (2003), html (accessed December 7, 2008); Paola Voci, “From the Center to the Periphery: Chinese Documentary’s Visual Conjectures,” Modern Chinese Literature and Culture, 16, no. 1 (2004): 65–113; Zhang Yingjin, “Styles, Subjects, and Special Points of View: A Study of Contemporary Chinese Independent Documentary,” New Cinemas: Journal of Contemporary Film, 2, no. 2 (2004): 119–35; Maggie Lee, “Behind the Scenes: Documentaries in Mainland China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong,” Documentary Box, no. 26 254 Notes on pp. 4–9 (2005), (accessed December 7, 2008); Lin Xudong, “Documentary in Mainland China,” translated by Cindy Carter, Documentary Box, no. 26 (2005), (accessed December 7, 2008); Shen Rui, “To Remember History: Hu Jie Talks about His Documentaries,” Senses of Cinema, no. 35 (2005), jie_documentaries.html (accessed December 7, 2008); Valerie Jaffee, “Every Man a Star: The Ambivalent Cult of Amateur Art in New Chinese Documentaries,” in Paul Pickowicz and Yingjin Zhang, eds., From Underground to Independent: Alternative Film Culture in Contemporary China (Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 2006), 77–108; Matthew David Johnson, “A Scene beyond Our Line of Sight: Wu Wenguang and New Documentary Cinema’s Politics of Independence,” in Pickowicz and Zhang, eds., From Underground to Independent, 47–76; Chris Berry, “Independently Chinese: Duan Jinchuan, Jiang Yue, and Chinese Documentary,” in ibid., 109–22; Wang Qi, “Navigating on the Ruins: Space, Power, and History in Contemporary Chinese Independent Documentaries,” Asian Cinema, 17, no. 1 (2006): 246–55; Chris Berry, “Getting Real: Chinese Documentary, Chinese Postsocialism,” in Zhang Zhen, ed., The Urban Generation: Chinese Cinema and Society at the Turn of the Twenty-First Century (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2007), 115–34; and Wang Ban, “In Search of Real-Life Images in China: Realism in the Age of Spectacle,” Journal of Contemporary China, no. 56 (2008): 497–512. In addition to these essays, the impact of independent documentary on feature films means that many essays on contemporary Chinese fiction feature films also deal with documentary. 4 Frances Hoar Foster, “Codification in Post-Mao China,” American Journal of Comparative Law, 30, no. 3 (1982): 405–7. 5 For more on this era, see Wang Jing, High Culture Fever: Politics, Aesthetics and Ideology in Deng’s China (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996). 6 See Wang Hui, “The Year 1989 and the Historical Roots of Neoliberalism in China,” positions: east asia cultures critique, 12, no. 1 (2004...


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