Harnessing the Soft Power : What Stories do Chinese Movies Tell about China

Research output: Conference PapersRGC 32 - Refereed conference paper (without host publication)peer-review

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Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 5 Sept 2014

Conference

TitleChina’s Media Go Global
LocationSchool of Journalism and Communication, Tsinghua University
PlaceChina
CityBeijing
Period2 - 3 September 2014

Abstract

Through the past decade People's Republic of China has been making a progress in international distribution of its movies and the government has been adapting regulations in an attempt to strengthen the country's film industry and the soft power reach. This article utilizes thematic analysis to examine the contents of the ten commercially most successful Chinese movies in the past ten years and evaluates their soft power potential. It contrasts their messages, identifies common patterns and relates them to experiences of the internationally successful film industries like USA and South Korea. Findings suggest that despite the PRC governments’ efforts to minimize negative messages, a great number of popular films tend to emphasize war themes and history, hence inadvertently promoting somewhat orientalist views of the Chinese society. The article argues that film censorship reduces a number of available subjects for filmmakers’ and encourages avoidance of innovative depictions of the country. This in turn reduces films’ visibility in a highly competitive international market while also affecting their soft power potential. The article further gives practical suggestions in designing future soft power strategies in PRC and highlights some of its challenges.

Citation Format(s)

Harnessing the Soft Power: What Stories do Chinese Movies Tell about China. / LOVRIC, Bruno.
2014. Paper presented at China’s Media Go Global, Beijing, China.

Research output: Conference PapersRGC 32 - Refereed conference paper (without host publication)peer-review