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New Ethnographic Film in the New China


  • Maris Boyd Gillette


Over the past two decades, a new ethnographic cinema of China has taken shape, one element of an explosion of documentaries produced about the People's Republic. In this volume, five China ethnographers discuss making ethnographic films in China, thus addressing in part the need, long noted in anthropology, for filmmakers to write about production and postproduction of ethnographic films. In this introduction, I sketch a history of ethnographic films about China and reflect on these five new ethnographic films in light of past practices, the theoretical literature on ethnographic cinema, and the ethnography of China.