Travel Down Memory Lane: Nostalgia and Nostophobia in Youth (2017)

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review


The article analyses Youth, a Chinese melodrama directed by Feng Xiaogang in 2017, as a representation of China during a transitional period in history. It explores issues of nostalgia and nostophobia in connection with the complexities of memory, representation, and viewing pleasure. It discusses how sound and image trigger memories and conflicting emotional reactions. In the film’s nostalgic and elegiac re-enactment of a controversial past, the military art troupe performs songs and dances extolling socialist virtues as their own lives gradually unravel with the dawn of a post-socialist era. The article elaborates on how Youth reflects and enlivens personal and collective social memory as well as how we negotiate our ambivalent feelings towards the representation of a controversial past.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-26
Number of pages18
JournalActa Universitatis Sapientiae, Film and Media Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020


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