Transformation and Identification between Two Generations Shanghai Dreams as a Political Melodrama

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WANG, Xiaoping 

Shanghai Dreams (Qinghong青红), directed by Wang Xiaoshuai (王小帅,1966- ), is the first work created by a famed Chinese sixth-generation auteur to deal with the subject of construction of the “third line of defense” by focusing on the aftermath of this movement. This paper puts the movie vis-a-vis the historical experience of China’s change from Maoist socialism to Dengist pragmatism, and suggests that it is the conflicts between the authoritative Dengism and the residual Maoism that constitute the core of this political melodrama. The choice of the object of love and preference by the three protagonists has its allegorical significance related to the competition for the future and the re-structuration of class hierarchy in the post-revolutionary society. An episode of a failed Bildungsroman or the coming-of-age narrative, the film nevertheless fails to give a poignant political diagnosis of the social-political problems exemplified in the story which appears as a tragedy.

Post-revolutionary Society, Political Melodrama, Maoism, Dengism, Class Structure
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Cambridge Journal of China Studies
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