The article traces the responses of Chinese directors, industry policy makers, and critics to film’s globalization and digitization. The debate in China foregrounds how the endorsement and repudiation of the CGI-rich blockbuster are based not only on aesthetic taste and concern about film’s indexicality but also on an ethical engagement with the ideological consequences of globalization. Supporters of the blockbuster model have invoked the urgency to catch up with Hollywood. Those seeking an alternative have relied on cinephiliac sentiments, insisting on the specificity of cinematic traditions. Jia Zhangke’s I Wish I Knew (2010) in particular calls for a reassessment of the relationship between the profilmic event and its cinematic record, underlining the ethical stakes in contemporary debates on visual memory.