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01.13.2015

This Culture Has Not Yet Been Rated

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian

It all started with plunging necklines. After the sudden withdrawal and subsequent sanitizing of a popular Chinese show, viewers in China have renewed longstanding calls to strip government censors of their power, using one simple solution...

Caixin Media

01.06.2015

In Praise of Hu Feng

Sheila Melvin

Hu Feng (1902-85) is a name that most students of P.R.C. history have undoubtedly encountered at one time or another. I remember reading it for the first time years ago in Jonathan Spence’s “The Search for Modern China.” It stuck in my...

Other

12.30.2014

A Look Back at 2014

The Editors

It’s hard to believe, but ChinaFile is almost two years old. It’s been an exciting year for us, and, as ever, an eventful year for China. It was a year of muscular leadership from Xi Jinping, who has now been in office just over two years...

Photo Gallery

12.30.2014

Seeing China in 2014

David M. Barreda

In 2014, ChinaFile published great original work in photography. As always, we worked to look beyond stereotypical images of the country to find nuanced representations of the new and ChinaFile contributors’ commentary on it. Still, many...

Books

12.23.2014

Top Five China Books of 2014

Laura Chang

As the editor of ChinaFile’s Books section, I have the privilege of meeting and interviewing some amazing writers covering China today—academics, journalists, scholars, activists. Based on these conversations, we create short videos of the...

Culture

12.19.2014

‘One Day the People Will Speak Out for Me’

Sheila Melvin

The ongoing exhibition “@Large: Ai Weiwei at Alcatraz” is both revelatory and heart-wrenching, a stunning and sobering work by an artist who understands firsthand the fragility and pricelessness of freedom.

Culture

12.19.2014

Trace

“Trace” is a portrait series of 176 people from around the world who have been imprisoned or exiled because of their beliefs or affiliations. This gallery includes a selection of portraits of individuals detained or persecuted by China’s...

Conversation

11.12.2014

Xi Jinping’s Culture Wars

Stanley Rosen, Michael Berry, Jindong Cai , Sheila Melvin

Given China’s tightening restrictions on film, TV, art, writing, and journalism, and the reverberations from President Xi Jinping’s recent speech on culture, we asked contributors why they think Beijing has decided to ramp up its...

Culture

11.07.2014

‘The Training Wheels Are Coming Off,’ But That’s Not Necessarily A Good Thing

Jonathan Landreth

Making a movie is a wild ride no matter where you are in the world, a process fraught with ego and pride; wobblier, riskier, yet potentially more lucrative, the bigger and faster it gets.

Books

10.21.2014

Hou Hsiao-hsien

For younger critics and audiences, Taiwanese cinema enjoys a special status, comparable with that of Italian Neorealism and the French New Wave for earlier generations, a cinema that was and is in the midst of introducing an innovative...

Caixin Media

10.14.2014

Sounds of Distinction

Sheila Melvin

The Peking Opera star Mei Lanfang (1894-1961) is generally acknowledged to have been the greatest performer of female dan roles in the history of his art. He was also a renowned theatrical innovator whose performance style is carried on as...

Media

10.10.2014

China Bans Law-Breaking Actors From Movies and Television

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian

Amid an ongoing government campaign against drugs, prostitution, and other moral vices, a powerful government agency has reportedly issued new regulations banning actors with histories of drug use or prostitution from appearing in movies...

Photo Gallery

10.03.2014

Silent Spring on the Huangpu River

This past July, Shanghai’s Huangpu River—known for more than a few incidents involving dead floating pigs—played host to artist Cai Guo-Qiang’s ark-like menagerie of decrepit animals, “The Ninth Wave.” The vessel was destined for the Power...

Culture

09.23.2014

Contact Lenses

Vera Tollmann

Will we all become “Chinese?” International New York Times correspondent Didi Kirsten Tatlow ironically asked recently. The question plays both on our fears over China’s economic power and on reflections on the NSA files released by...

Video

09.18.2014

Collecting Insanity

Joshua Frank

Every country has a past it likes to celebrate and another it would rather forget. In China, where history still falls under the tight control of government-run museums and officially approved textbooks, the omissions appear especially...

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