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date: 15 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter investigates the development, institutions, and specificities of the PRC’s film policy and related actions in the period of 1949 to 1951, a period when a new socialist cinema was developed to replace the existing capitalist one. This chapter demonstrates that the new state, in spite of its dedication to ultimately nationalize the industry, took a multifaceted mechanism in shaping the film community. On the one hand, the party worked to build an egalitarian and idealist culture, encouraging policymakers and filmmakers, who often belonged to the same community, to discuss and develop a new cinema together. On the other hand, the state was committed in putting together a new infrastructure of production, distribution, reception, and, most importantly, criticism, which could bring about a propaganda machine. Instead of assuming socialist film policy as necessarily coercive, this chapter identifies the complexity of cultural governance in the first years of the PRC, exploring how cinema was important to the state in many, sometimes contradictory, ways.

Keywords: policy, socialism, censorship, community, propaganda

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