This is the first major work on pre-1949 Chinese cinema in English.
As such, it represents a major contribution to existing discussions
of both Chinese cinema and national cinema, and is an indispensible
basic resource for scholars interested in Chinese film history. The
book analyses the wide variety of conceptions of "Chinese national
cinema" between the early years of the 20th century and 1949, and
contrasts these to conceptions of national cinema in Europe and
After years of exhausting primary historical research, the author
has been able to bring to light sources hitherto not widely
available. The author argues that questions and debates about the
status and meaning of the "national" in "Chinese national cinema"
are central to any consideration of cinema during this period, and
addresses the issue of Chinese nationalism as part of a complex
history of cinema within the early modern Chinese nation.
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