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Research on Chinese Cinema in the First Half of the 20th Century

Page dedicated to gathering materials on studies about China (under update)

Image by Nuno Alberto

Welcome to the page dedicated to my research on Chinese cinema, a space where I explore the nuances of film productions in China, especially focusing on the first half of the 20th century. This research project, currently in progress to obtain a PhD in Anthropology from the Graduate Program in Social Sciences at UERJ (PPCIS-UERJ), aims to deepen the understanding of the social, political, and cultural dynamics reflected in the films of a crucial period in the country’s history, with a specific focus on the analysis of ethnic relations.

The objective of this project is to offer a profound understanding of Chinese film productions up to 1949, highlighting how they reflect and influence the social, political, and ethnic relations of the time. Each film is analyzed not only as a cultural product but as an active agent capable of shaping and being shaped by its historical context.

I invite you to explore this page, where I will gradually share the Chinese films studied (1922-1949) with Portuguese subtitles. Later, I intend to post other content.

Chinese Cinema (1922-1949)

Cinema is a powerful tool for understanding a country's society and politics. In China, it still plays a significant role today. The first half of the 20th century was a period of profound social changes, marked by the end of the Qing Dynasty in 1911 and the Communist Revolution in 1949, following a civil war. The films presented here were produced during this period and serve as an important record of how Chinese society dealt with those transformations, representing them directly and indirectly through cinematic narratives.

Laborer’s Love (Láogōng zhī àiqíng 勞工之愛情)   |  1922.


The carpenter Zheng moves to Shanghai and becomes a fruit vendor, becoming interested in Dr. Zhu's daughter. They exchange gifts, and after Zheng protects her from bullies, he proposes marriage. Zhu's approval is conditioned on Zheng helping with his struggling business. Zheng uses his carpentry skills to create a device that attracts patients to Zhu's clinic. With the business's success, Zhu accepts Zheng as his son-in-law.

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