視覺啟蒙:民國時期面向兒童的電影教育與兒童電影 (1918-1949)

Visual Enlightenment: Children’s Films as Educational Tool in Republican China (1918-1949)

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

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Award date24 Aug 2020

Abstract

「視覺啟蒙」指以電影作為教育兒童與形塑兒童形象的現代媒介形式。本文探討的是1918年至1949年間,教育家、知識分子、電影人與政府部門面向兒童觀眾開展的電影審查與電影教育活動,以及電影人出於不同目的攝制兒童電影的藝術實踐。

第一章聚焦民國初年(1918-1928)兒童與電影的關係。自新文化運動中兒童的發現與平民教育思潮的興起,電影被教育家視為啟蒙兒童和平民的教育工具,電影人探索出社會片與童話片兩種兒童電影類型,「兒童保護」更成為教育團體與北洋政府推行電影檢查的有力依據。第二章探索南京十年(1927-1937)面向兒童的電影檢查與電影教育。南京國民政府將電影視為普及知識和政治宣傳的教育工具,通過半官方教育團體與政府部門,建立以法律限制兒童觀影與向兒童播映教育電影相結合的電影教育體系。第三章研究國民政府設立的兒童年(1935-1936)間的兒童電影。隨著兒童成為維繫民族國家發展的民族主體,《小天使》(1935)和《迷途的羔羊》(1936)這兩部兒童電影傳達意識形態對壘的民族主義想象,呼應了國共兩黨在電影領域的權力之爭。第四章則探究抗日戰爭時期(1938-1945)國統區與孤島上海借助兒童教育發起的電影動員。國統區的電影教育灌輸兒童戰鬥精神,規訓符合黨國意志的理想國民。同樣聚焦兒童教育的教育紀錄片《第二代》(1941)與動畫長片《鐵扇公主》(1941),既構築了跨越地區和意識形態的抵抗防線,又建構了相互區別與競爭的視覺形象。第五章關注戰後(1946-1949)國共兩黨宣揚兒童權益的電影活動。國民黨向兒童播映美國教育電影,將「保護兒童心理」條款加入電影檢查法,投射美式民主的政治藍圖。左翼電影《三毛流浪記》(1949)表現貧苦兒童不為國民黨政權接納,形塑三毛為接近無產階級、富有抗爭意識的主人公,以三毛迎解放的結尾揭開了社會主義新中國的序幕。

本文的結論是,視覺啟蒙自民國初年至國民黨執政時期,由知識分子主導的教育活動與藝術實踐,向政黨操控的政治宣傳與美學的政治化轉變。當國民政府推行電影審查和電影教育以規訓兒童之時,具體效果受制於政府的執政能力、社會發展水平及其他力量的不配合,未能達到理想設計。同時,左、右兩翼聯合電影人,攝製流浪兒童與理想兒童作為競逐的民族主體,呼應了國共兩黨的權力之爭。然而,天真兒童的銀幕形象,既構成政治宣傳的關鍵機件,又推動政治宣傳的瓦解。
The thesis explores children-aimed film education and children’s films during Republican China under the rubric of “visual enlightenment”. From 1918 to 1949, Chinese educators, intellectuals, filmmakers and the government carried out film censorship and film education towards child audience, and filmmakers produced children’s films with divergent purposes.

The first chapter focuses on the relationship between children and films in early Republican era (1918-1928). As children and the populace were discovered during the New Culture Movement, films were considered as suitable educational tool for them from the perspective of educators. Filmmakers experimented “social film” and “fairytale film” as new genres of children’s films and child protection even provided a solid justification for educational organization and the Beiyang government to impose film censorship.

The second chapter explores child-aimed film censorship and film education during the Nanjing decade (1927-1937). The Nanjing government continuously regarded films as education tools, which transmitted knowledge and more importantly, assumed political propaganda. Through the roles of semi-official educational organizations and Education Ministry, the Nanjing government set up an educational film system for children combined with censorship regulations and film screenings.

The third chapter studies the production of children’s films during The Children Year (1935-1936). As children were widely considered as national subjects in the development of the nation-state, The Little Angel(1935) and The Lost Lamb (1936) represented competing national imaginations and corresponded to the power conflicts between the Nationalist Party (Kuomintang) and Chinese Communist Party(CCP) in the film industry.

The fourth chapter examines film mobilization through educating children in the Nationalist areas and the “Orphan Island” in Shanghai during the war of resistance (1937-1945). Films education in the Nationalist areas cultivated children as militant warriors and disciplined ideal citizens of the party-state. This chapter compares two films with strong focus on educating wartime children, namely educational documentary The Second Generation (1941) and feature-length animation Princess Iron Fan (1941), which drew the defense line crossing geographical and ideological borders, and constructed divergent and competing visual images.

The fifth chapter examines how the Nationalist Party and CCP claimed the protection of child welfare through films in the postwar era (1946-1949). The Nationalist government screened American educational films for children and added the provision of “preserve children’s mental abilities” into Film Censorship Statue, thus projecting a political blueprint modelled by American democracy. Left-wing film The Wandering Life of Sanmao(1949), revealed the exclusion of destitute children under the Nationalist regime, shaped an approximately proletarian and strongly resistant protagonist Sanmao and concluded with a sequence of Sanmao welcoming the Liberation. The Sanmao film represented the opening of the Socialist China ruled by the CCP.

In conclusion, the history of visual enlightenment has witnessed a transition from the intellectual-led educational activities and artistic practice in early Republican era to political propaganda and politicized aesthetics held by different parties in the regime of the Nationalist government. When government-led film censorship and film education disciplined children, the effects were hindered by limited power of the Nationalist government, underdeveloped conditions and lack of cooperation from social groups, thus falling behind the blueprints. As for children’s films, left-wing and right-wing shaped the wandering children and the ideal children through working with filmmakers, corresponding to the political struggle between the Nationalist party and CCP. However, innocent children on the one hand constituted political propaganda, and on the other hand overthrew it from the within.