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From Documentary to Fiction and Back: Reality and Contingency in Wang Bing’s and Jia Zhangke’s films

Sebastian Veg

Abstract

The generation of “independent” Chinese directors has repeatedly crossed and displaced the borders between fiction and documentary film in their works. While originally linked to practical constraints, this trend has developed into a full-fledged aesthetic programme in the works of Wang Bing and Jia Zhangke. Both directors document the demise of the world of China’s state-owned industries and its impact in terms of livelihoods and social ideals, highlighting the subjective dimension of its dystopic significance. Finally, this article argues that both directors seek to define an aesthetics of contingency, commensurate both with the historical processes they document, and the absurdity felt by individuals who have no control over them.

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References

Electronic reference

Sebastian Veg, « From Documentary to Fiction and Back: Reality and Contingency in Wang Bing’s and Jia Zhangke’s films », China Perspectives [Online], 2007/3 | 2007, Online since 09 April 2008, connection on 24 August 2017. URL : http://chinaperspectives.revues.org/2223

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Sebastian Veg

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