From Dogma to Polyphony
By Yingchi Chu
Routledge – 2007 – 260 pages
In China, unlike in Western cinema, documentary film, rather than fiction film, has been the dominant mode since 1949. In recent years, documentary TV programmes have experienced a meteoric rise. Arguing that there is a gradual process of 'democratization' in the media, in which documentaries play a significant role, this book discusses various types of Chinese documentaries, under both the planned and the market economy. It especially explores the relationship between documentaries and society, showing how, under the market economy, although the government continues to use the genre as propaganda to promote its ideologies and policies, documentaries are being used as a medium where public concerns and alternative voices can be heard.
Introduction: Writing about Chinese Documentaries 1. The Documentary Genre and Chinese Documentaries 2. Nationalism and the Birth of Chinese Documentary 3. The Dogmatic Formula 4. Media Reform, Documentary Programming, and the New Citizen 5. Documenting the Law 6. Documenting the Minorities 7. The Many Voices of Chinese Documentary. Conclusion: Documentary as Critical Discourse. Notes. Bibliography. Filmography
Yingchi Chu is a Senior Lecturer in Media Studies at Murdoch University, Western Australia. She has published journals and book chapters on Chinese media, and is the author of Hong Kong Cinema: Coloniser, Motherland and Self (2003).