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