This paper illustrates that before 1949, which is the year that the People’s Republic of China was formed, the Chinese ruling class was interested in portraying traditional values, and the Chinese films during this era reflected this. In particular, there was a threat to traditional Chinese values by the West, and a return to traditional Chinese values is what was vaunted by the films during the pre-Communist period, particularly the 1930s. This all changed, as the Communist Party took over and took total control over the media in China, including films. In place of the traditionalist view was a view of a revolutionary. Traditionalist portrayals of patriarchal families and submissive women have pushed aside in favor of films which portrayed a liberated woman and a family which was not traditional. Collectiveness replaced individualism in these films, and the heroes of these films were socialists and revolutionaries. In this way, the Chinese films have evolved along with the Chinese society, and these films were a way of disseminating the values of the power elites who were in charge during given times in Chinese history. Chinese film portrays the values of the dominant political party in that these films are focused upon the socialism of the Chinese government and the Chinese people and Western thought and ideals are de-emphasized or denigrated. Pickowicz refers to these values as “the theme of spiritual pollution,” and states that the Chinese films often portray the conflict between traditional Chinese values and “evil” Western values in a broad way, using symbolism to portray the conflict between these two ideals. Pickowicz studied several Chinese films of the 1930s. The first film that he covers is titled Peach Blossom Weeps Tears of Blood. In this film, a young, innocent Chinese country maiden meets a handsome city man who falls in love with her and wants to marry her. However, the mother of the man does not feel that the maiden is good enough. Nonetheless, the couple moves in together and the girl becomes urbanized, wearing makeup and dressing in city-style dress. The woman is pregnant, but the man’s mother puts him under house arrest and sends the woman away. The woman somehow dies, and, at the funeral, the families are united.
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