Edifying Affection: The Cultural Revolution Films, 1974-76

Gary Gang Xu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter is intended to give long overdue credit to the Cultural Revolution period films, which have been largely ignored and dismissed as “Maoist films” because of their explicit propagandistic nature. Mining through historical documents and film archives, this study seeks to depict a dynamic moviegoing scene during the Cultural Revolution and reads closely two of the four films produced in 1974, when film production was resumed for the first time since 1966. The author shows that Chinese filmmaking was not entirely blank during that period and that these films established certain styles or routines that have left indelible mental and emotional marks on contemporary China. This chapter pays special attention to the emotive expressions through the formulaic and yet well-crafted visual devices in these films.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationOxford Handbook of Chinese Cinemas
EditorsGarlos Rojas, Eileen Chow
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)9780199765607
StatePublished - 2013


  • Cultural Revolution films
  • Bright Sunny Sky (Yanyang Tian)
  • Pine Ridge (Qinsong ling),
  • Maoist films
  • three-highlights principle (san tuchu)
  • edification
  • qing


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