Ethnic Minority Cinema in China’s Nation-State Building

Kwai Cheung Lo*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Book/ReportBook or reportpeer-review


    Ethnic Minority Cinema in China’s Nation-State Building investigates the convoluted relations between the cinematic productions about non-Han ethnic minorities and China’s nation-state building project from the early Republican era of the 1920s to the current authoritarian regime in the twenty-first century. The glossy, but superficial, cinematic depictions of non-Han ethnic minorities manufactured and manipulated by state authorities have deeply penetrated the Chinese psyche of what an ideal multiethnic nation should be like, with these visuals changing what it means to be Chinese under political unification.

    Kwai-Cheung Lo understands these ethnic minorities as part of a larger ecosystem and alludes to the cultures, values, and life practices of non-Han ethnic minorities as closely entwined with environmental issues and politics. This intertwining, Lo argues, suggests a crisis in “objectification and identification” of both people and the environment, that plays out in cinema featuring ethnic minorities. Lo traces these representations of Chinese ethnic minority groups in films created by both members of the Han-majority and non-Han filmmakers, examining how these representations became a site in which state authorities, Han and non-Han communities, and foreign agencies compete and interact under the larger context of building and imagining the Chinese nation-state.
    Original languageEnglish
    PublisherUniversity of Michigan Press
    ISBN (Electronic)9780472904884
    ISBN (Print)9780472057276, 9780472077274
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2025

    Publication series

    NameChina Understandings Today


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