Advertisement

The Fate and Fantasy of China’s “New Poor”

  • Xiaoping Wang
Chapter
Part of the Chinese Literature and Culture in the World book series (CLCW)

Abstract

The largest section of the new poor in China comprises the migrant peasants working in the urban areas; they have few citizen’s rights and little hope of returning to their rural origins. The second largest element of the new poor population consists of “a group with a certain level of education, dreams of advancement and unfulfilled consumer desires.” In this chapter, two movies, Blind Shaft and Pirated Copy, provide us with a typical picture of the new poor. The issues brought up by these films are the difficulties faced by the lower classes, commercialization and its effects on the less well-off, economic disparity, moral depravity, the illusion of cosmopolitanism, materialism and so on. The failures, suffering and even the eventual deaths of the characters in the cinematic world can be taken symbolically as the failure of society to provide for the lower classes.

References

  1. Chan, John. “Sydney Film Festival: Blind Shaft Director Speaks About Filmmaking in China. Part 2.” World Socialist Web Site (2003, July 18). http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2003/07/sff2-j18.html. Accessed October 22, 2017.
  2. Kahn, Joseph. “Filming the Dark Side of Capitalism in China.” (2003, May 7). http://www.nytimes.com/2003/05/07/movies/07YANG.html?ex=1052884800&en=9676e0be188f15f2&ei=5062. Accessed April 13, 2016.
  3. Liu, Hui (刘晖), and Li Yang (李杨). “Fantan: Dianying de Yiyi” (访谈:电影的意义) [Interview: The Significance of Movie]. Beijing Zhoubao (北京周报) [Beijing Weekly]. (2010, March 17).Google Scholar
  4. Teo, Stephen. “‘There Is No Sixth Generation!’ Director Li Yang on Blind Shaft and His Place in Chinese Cinema.” Sense of Cinema 27 (2003). http://sensesofcinema.com/2003/feature-articles/li_yang/. Accessed October 22, 2017.
  5. Wang, Ban. “In Search of Real Images in China: Realism in the Age of Spectacle.” Journal of Contemporary China 17 (56) (2008): 497–512.Google Scholar
  6. Wang, Hui. “Two Kinds of New Poor and Their Future.” In Saul Thomas (ed.), China’s Twentieth. Century: Revolution, Retreat, and the Road to Equality. London and New York: Verso, 2016.Google Scholar
  7. Weissberg, Jay. “Review: Pirated Copy.” Variety (2004, February 16). http://variety.com/2004/film/reviews/pirated-copy-1200536353/. Accessed December 12, 2015.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xiaoping Wang
    • 1
  1. 1.College of Chinese Language and CultureHuaqiao University, Xiamen CampusXiamenChina

Personalised recommendations