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date: 05 March 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter outlines the intellectual and political agenda behind establishing the monthly Chinese Cinema in 1956. The journal followed the Hundred Flowers campaign and promoted open discussion on the shortcomings of current film policy. In particular, it challenged the dogma of art for workers, peasants, and soldiers, emphasizing instead the importance of debate. The chapter argues that the episode constituted a founding moment for Chinese cinephilia, in the sense of informed discourse rooted in a community committed to film interpretation. Understanding early PRC film culture in terms of cinephilia calls for rethinking the connection between art and politics under Mao.

Keywords: Cinephilia, film journals, Hundred Flowers campaign, intellectual debates, Mao Zedong

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