Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/155606
Title: FIFTH GENERATION FILMS: HISTORICAL REPRESENTATIONS OF THE CULTURAL REVOLUTION IN THE 1980S-1990S
Authors: GLADYS WONG YEN TING
Keywords: Fifth Generation
Cultural Revolution representations
film representations
historical films
Chinese cinema
Issue Date: 22-Apr-2019
Citation: GLADYS WONG YEN TING (2019-04-22). FIFTH GENERATION FILMS: HISTORICAL REPRESENTATIONS OF THE CULTURAL REVOLUTION IN THE 1980S-1990S. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: In the 1960s, most historians were doubtful of the ability of historical films to portray the past. Although this situation has since improved and scholars are expanding on the field linking history and film, motion pictures as primary sources are still given little attention. However, over the years, the growth and prevalence of the film industry is so influential that one can no longer ignore its impacts. As written history increasingly gets translated onscreen, how can we then reconcile what we have learnt in texts with these visual imageries? To what extent can we believe in historical events portrayed on films? Are historical films merely just for entertainment purposes? This thesis attempts to explore the controversial relationship between film and history through a case study on China’s Fifth Generation films. Internationally acclaimed for their critical reflections of China and its past, most existing scholarship recognizes the generational qualities of early Fifth Generation films from the 1980s to early 1990s. However, most do not go into the details on the kinds of collective experiences undergirding Fifth Generation films. Instead, they adopt what is called the “single film or director” analysis. On the contrary, this thesis attempts to sieve out common experiences through Cultural Revolution autobiographies and compare them against the themes presented by the films, therefore highlighting generational qualities across early Fifth Generation films. In doing so, the thesis will explore how visual form of history could be situated alongside written sources, thereby proving the validity of films as historical sources. Additionally, this thesis also contextualizes the emergence and maintenance of Fifth Generation cinema in the 1980s, looking into issues with censorship.
URI: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/155606
Appears in Collections:Bachelor's Theses

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