Foreign Friends and Problematic Heroes: Remembering a Global World War Two in Early Twenty-first Century Chinese Cinema

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

Abstract

Engaging with the growing scholarship on China’s War with Japan (1937–1945) as part of a global World War Two, this article queries how the internationalization of China’s War of Resistance has been (re)constructed in popular fiction films since the 2000s. It analyses representations of Sino-foreign interactions in China’s mainstream onscreen memorialization of the war and how these productions have sought global recognition. It argues that, despite not always appreciated by foreign audiences and critics, depictions of China’s war effort have been imbued with a considerable degree of ambiguity, comprising praise for forms of transnational solidarity and a growing assertion of China’s role in a conflict of global significance. The article also explores the role of war cinema in projecting Chinese nationalism to domestic and international audiences and reflects on recent films whose exhibition problems signal changing constraints on what can be shown as heroic representations of China at war.

Bibliographical note

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