Title

Reading Docufiction: Jia Zhangke’s 24 City

Abstract

Jia Zhangke's 24 City (2008) combines the work of professional actors with interviews of actual Chinese state employees to create a blended genre that illustrates changing economic fortunes in the 21st century. Through the medium of a new, hybrid filmic language, Jia articulates his concerns about the limitations of postsocialist realism and documentary in narrating factory workers' emotional struggles with history and reality. The synthetic vision of docufiction, controversial and unsettling as it is, gives Jia the philosophical freedom to contrast, juxtapose, and integrate the real and the fictional in ways that defy and overwhelm conventional cinematic storytelling. Using narrative ellipsis, tableaux shots and intertextual references, Jia expands on the Deleuzean idea of ‘the power of the false’ to negotiate the roles of docufiction directors and complicate his own intellectual position as insider and outsider, artist and activist.

Publisher

Routledge

Publication Date

11-1-2014

Publication Title

Journal of Chinese Cinemas

Department

Cinema Studies

Additional Department

East Asian Studies

Document Type

Article

DOI

10.1080/17508061.2014.949156

Keywords

Power of the false, Tableaux vivants, The Sixth Generation, Docufiction, Ellipsis, Postsocialist realism

Language

English

Format

text

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